Mike Smith Blanks Predators 1-0, Coyotes Take 3-1 Series Lead

When you have a goaltender like Mike Smith, you only need one goal to win a game.

After Pekka Rinne's outstanding shutout performance in Wednesday's Game 3, Smith came out with an equally impressive shutout of his own in Game 4.

Smith would stop 25 shots against the Nashville Predators Friday night and propel his team to a 3-1 series lead.

The only goal of the game came off the stick of Coyote captain Shane Doan in the first period. Doan would catch a pass from Mikkel Boedker in the corner and drive towards the slot. Doan would then rip a backhand through traffic, off the post and past Rinne.

It was Doan's third goal of the 2012 NHL postseason.

There was a moment of panic for the Coyotes with 7:12 remaining in the game after the puck sneak passed Smith, but the officials waved it off because the whistle blew before it passed the goal line.

Patric Hornqvist managed only three shots on goal against the Coyotes, but he accounted for many more scoring chances. It seemed like every time the Predators were in the offensive zone he would end up on top of Smith, or in the net with him.

In a post-game interview when Smith was asked how the team keeps winning these close games, he chuckled and simply said, "Coyote ugly."

The Coyotes will have a chance to closeout the series with the Predators Monday on home ice at Jobing.com Arena.

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