The Phoenix Coyotes found themselves 20 minutes away from another chapter in franchise history, thanks to goals by Derek Morris and Martin Hanzal in the second period and more saves from goalie Mike Smith, who just won't let the Nashville Predators get one by him.
And poor Carrie Underwood has a concerned look on her pretty face as her Predators (and husband Mike Fisher) are looking at their season being over. It's 2-0 Phoenix going into the third period.
The challenge is now to hang onto the lead, and the Coyotes have given up such advantages before in the playoffs. But the extra goal cushion certainly helps.
At the 3:45 mark of the period, Shane Doan had an opportunity on a breakaway but had his shot stopped by Pekka Rinne. The Coyotes retained possession of the puck, and at 3:54, Morris tried a slap shot that Rinne got a piece of but couldn't keep out of the net.
Smith increased his save total to 22 and stopped a shot by Andrei Kostitsyn at 9:41 of the period. The Predators don't have a history of success when allowing the game's first goal -- they're 0-4 in the playoffs when their opponent scores first.
The Coyotes defense has also played well in support of Smith, getting back to deflect shots and clear the puck.
Hanzal's important goal was his third of the playoffs. Adrian Aucoin is out of the game and is being evaluated, according to the Coyotes.