Juuse Saros made 24 saves for his first NHL postseason win, and the Nashville Predators defeated the Arizona Coyotes 4-2 in Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Qualifiers at Rogers Place in Edmonton on Tuesday, evening the series 1-1.
Ryan Johansen had a goal and an assist, and Nick Bonino, Calle Jarnkrok and Viktor Arvidsson scored for the Predators, the No. 6 seed in the Western Conference. Nashville had 21 blocked shots, including a game-high five by Bonino.
Game 3 of the best-of-5 series is in Edmonton, the Western Conference hub city, on Wednesday (2:30 p.m. ET; NHLN, NHL.TV, SN360, FS-A, FS-A PLUS, FS-TN). The series winner advances to the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Clayton Keller and Lawson Crouse scored, and Darcy Kuemper made 24 saves for the Coyotes, the No. 11 seed in the West. Arizona backup goalie Antti Raanta (unfit to play) was replaced on the bench by Adin Hill at 14:03 of the second period. As part of the NHL Return to Play Plan, a team is not permitted to disclose player injury or illness information.
Bonino gave the Predators a 1-0 lead on a wrist shot from the right face-off circle at 7:50 of the first period.
Johansen made it 2-0 on a wrist shot from low in the right face-off circle at 10:27.
Saros, who made 33 saves in a 4-3 loss in Game 1 on Sunday, stopped Derek Stepan‘s wrist shot at 9:13, Keller’s backhand at 9:14 and Jakob Chychrun‘s slap shot at 9:33 during a sequence of saves prior to Johansen’s goal.
Jarnkrok scored on a wrist shot from the slot to give Nashville a 3-0 lead at 6:02 of the second period.
Arvidsson scored a power-play goal on a slap shot from the right face-off circle to make it 4-0 at 13:49 of the third period.
Keller and Crouse scored in a span of nine seconds, at 19:03 and 19:12 of the third, to pull the Coyotes within 4-2.
Teams that win Game 3 after a best-of-5 series is tied 1-1 own an all-time series record of 21-7 (.750).