Brad Richardson’s overtime goal gave the Arizona Coyotes a 4-3 win over the Nashville Predators in Game 4 on Friday in Edmonton, and a clinching victory in their Western Conference qualifying series.
The Coyotes will advance to the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs after winning their first postseason series since 2012. It is only the Coyotes’ third series win in 24 seasons since relocating to Arizona.
The sixth-seeded Predators finished four points ahead of the 11th-seeded Coyotes during the regular season, but the upset defeat sends Nashville home early from the 2020 Stanley Cup playoffs.
Richardson’s first postseason goal since 2012 couldn’t have come at a better moment for the Coyotes, who were forced into overtime after Predators forward Filip Forsberg tied the score with 32 seconds remaining.
Michael Grabner, Phil Kessel, and Jordan Oesterle also scored for Arizona. Oliver Ekman-Larsson had two assists.
Forsberg had both a goal and an assist, while Ryan Ellis had two assists for Nashville.
In something of a replay of Game 3, the Predators outshot (15-8) the Coyotes in the first period but Arizona left the first frame with a 1-0 lead. A Predators turnover in their own end led to Grabner’s score at the 17:27 mark.
Kessel extended Arizona’s lead less than two minutes into the second period, though the Predators controlled much of the action the rest of the period and finally translated their shooting edge into goals.
Matt Duchene scored a power-play marker 4:29 into the period, and Viktor Arvidsson then collected the equalizer for Nashville less than four minutes later.
In the final minute of the period, however, Arvidsson was in visible discomfort after being hit in the side by a shot from teammate Mattias Ekholm. Arvidsson didn’t take the ice in the third period, leaving Nashville without one of its top players.
At 4:21 of the third period, Oesterle fired a long shot from the point that found its way through traffic and past goalie Juuse Saros.
Coyotes goalie Darcy Kuemper stopped 49 of 52 shots, continuing his strong play in the series. Kuemper posted a .933 save percentage over the four games.
Saros stopped 30 of 34 shots faced.
–Field Level Media