Offense suddenly comes up empty

The Sports Xchange

Your move, Phoenix.

The Predators benched fun-loving forwards Andrei Kostitsyn and Alexander Radulov and went back to basics with a more defensive-minded approach in Game 3, using goals 66 seconds apart by David Legwand and Mike Fisher and a 32-save shutout by Pekka Rinne to get back in the series with a 2-0 win.

"I thought both teams -- there wasn't an abundance of chances out there. We gave them some early, easy ones that were glaring," Phoenix coach Dave Tippett said. "They defended a lot better tonight, but ultimately they were opportunistic on their chances and we couldn't find one. It was a tight game and that's going to happen sometimes."

The Coyotes made a few mistakes on defense, but the more alarming development was an offense that produced nine goals in two games in Phoenix coming up dry against a more detail-oriented foe.

"They came out with a good push, we made some errors around our net and they capitalized," said defenseman Derek Morris, who took three of Phoenix's five penalties in the game. "We have to bear down on our chances. We hit post and crossbars and we have to cash those in.

"We knew we weren't going to beat Nashville four straight, they are too good, too physical. They competed hard and now it's our turn. We'll bounce right back."

The Coyotes lost on the road for the first time in the postseason. They trailed by two goals in a game for the first time. And they were shut out for the first time despite 32 shots on goal. But they settled down after the 66-second nightmare, played Nashville straight up and now have two days to iron out the kinks before getting another shot in Game 4 on Friday.

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