Feb 15, 2013, 1:24 AM EST
The Nashville Predators are at the bottom of the National Hockey League in scoring.
They’ve also won five of their first seven games to begin the February portion of their schedule, thanks in large part to the red-hot play of goaltender Pekka Rinne.
On Thursday against the Phoenix Coyotes, Rinne stopped all 19 shots he faced to backstop the Predators to a 3-0 win.
All three goals came in the third period. Suddenly the Predators, losers of five of their first six games, albeit three of those defeats were in the shootout, are now fourth in the Western Conference with a 7-3-4 record.
Thursday marked Rinne’s third shutout in the last four games.
“I don’t know where we’d be without Pekka,” Nashville blue liner Ryan Ellis told NHL.om.
“He’s the best goaltender in the world.”
With a team that ranks at the bottom of the league in goals-for – at a rate of 1.86 goals per game – the goaltending has to be good.
So, too, does the defense.
“Everything we do if you’re going to be successful, it starts with being able to defend, and once you’re able to defend, everything sort of piggybacks off that,” head coach Barry Trotz said to The Tennessean.
- Neal admits kneeing Marchand was ‘not the smartest decision’ 46
- Leafs captain Phaneuf suspended two games for boarding 32
- Rangers confirm Staal suffered concussion 6
- Winnipeg to get outdoor game; Phoenix wants one 32
- Neal suspended five games for kneeing Marchand in the head 156
- Report: Dion Phaneuf will face hearing for hit on Kevan Miller 102
- Bruins coach admits Thornton crossed the line, slams Pens for not being ‘truthful’ 132
- Lecavalier out 3-4 weeks with non-displaced fracture in back 8
- Islanders players hold closed-door meeting after ninth straight loss 15
- Penguins’ Neal has phone hearing for knee on Bruins’ Marchand 90
- Video: Penguins’ Orpik stretchered off ice; Bruins’ Thornton given match penalty (182)
- Neal suspended five games for kneeing Marchand in the head (156)
- Bruins coach admits Thornton crossed the line, slams Pens for not being ‘truthful’ (132)
- Pens put Orpik on IR (132)
- Orpik suffers from concussion, including memory loss (111)