Sjostrom Paces Coyotes' Offense in Win Over Preds

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- The Coyotes bounced back from a demoralizing loss. The Predators seemed less ready to recover.

Fredrik Sjostrom scored two goals and Derek Morris, Martin Hanzal and Radim Vrbata each had a goal and an assist to lead Phoenix to a 6-3 victory over Nashville on Thursday night.

Both teams were coming off losses Wednesday night. The Predators lost 4-1 in St. Louis, while the Coyotes fell 3-0 in Columbus.

"The one good thing about back-to-back games is that always after a loss, you get a chance to get right back out there and play hard," Morris said. "They came at us hard, it could have gone the other way, but we came out on the right end tonight."

Nashville coach Barry Trotz wasn't as impressed with his team's effort.

"I didn't think we responded the way I would have liked to see us respond," Trotz said. "We have to play with a bit more urgency and we have to play a little smarter."

Morris got the Coyotes on the board first at 14:18 if the first period with a power-play goal. His slap shot from the left point glanced off of the right goalpost and into the Nashville goal. Morris was aided by Craig Weller, who planted his 6-foot-4, 220-pound body in front of Nashville goalie Chris Mason to set the perfect screen.

The goal ended two streaks. The Coyotes entered the game without a power-play goal this season, and the Predators had yet to allow a short-handed goal entering Thursday.

"The first two games I was good, and the last two games, I haven't been very good," Mason said. "We got a lot of shots, but I didn't play up to the way I should be playing and we didn't bury the puck when we had the chance."

The Coyotes ended the night with two power-play goals in five opportunities.

Phoenix added another power-play goal at 6:55 of the second period to extend its lead to 2-0 on Sjostrom's first goal of the season.

Sjostrom, a healthy scratch for Phoenix's first three games of the season, sent a wrist shot from the right circle past Mason on the stick side.

"He was outstanding tonight," Phoenix coach Wayne Gretzky said. "He came into the game with a vengeance and came with a lot of determination."

The Predators drew within one goal when Radek Bonk scored a power-play goal at 9:41 of the second period.

Bonk's wrist shot from the low slot beat Alex Auld high on the glove side.

Seeing his first action of the season, Auld finished with 36 saves.

"To get that much support was great, especially against a team like this," Auld said. "They are a great offensive team, they have a lot of weapons, and they keep rolling at you and never quit."

Hanzal, Sjostrom, and Vrbata all scored third period goals for the Coyotes.

Bonk later added a second goal, and Alexander Radulov rounded out the Nashville scoring.

Copyright 2007 The Associated Press


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