Rinne, Predators hand slumping Coyotes costly loss
Nashville, TN (SportsNetwork.com) - Pekka Rinne stopped 29 shots for his second shutout of the season as the Nashville Predators dropped the fading Phoenix Coyotes, 2-0.
Phoenix's free-fall continued, as its sixth straight loss saw the team remain two points behind idle Dallas for the final wild card spot in the Western Conference.
"We've put ourselves in a bad spot and we just have to be ready for our last two games and get back in it," said Phoenix captain Shane Doan.
The Stars and Coyotes both have two games left, with the clubs meeting in Phoenix in Sunday's regular season finale.
Craig Smith and Patric Hornqvist scored for the Predators, who have won four of their last five.
"You know it feels good, but it's also a team achievement as well," said Rinne, who won his 162nd game to pass Tomas Vokoun for the franchise record. "I've played with good players and good teams so this is all of their record as well."
Thomas Greiss gave up both goals on 23 shots for the Coyotes, who went 15-16-10 on the road this season.
The game stayed scoreless until halfway through the second period when Nashville got on the board courtesy of the power play.
Taking a pass at the top of the left circle, Smith skated down and snapped a wrister past Greiss for his 21st of the season.
Nashville made it a 2-0 game near the midway mark of the third period after Mike Fisher fed Hornqvist in front, and he was able to get in his own rebound for his 21st of the year.
Rinne polished off his 32nd career shutout with 15 saves in the third period.
Nashville hosts its final game of the season Saturday against Chicago ... Phoenix hosts San Jose on Saturday ... Nashville won two of the three games with Phoenix this season ... The Predators were 1-for-2 on the power play, while the Coyotes were 0-for-2.
04/11 00:07:29 ET