Rinne celebrates new contract by blanking Coyotes
Glendale, AZ – Pekka Rinne celebrated his new contract with a save shutout as Nashville downed Phoenix, 3-0.
Awarded with a seven-year, $49 million deal earlier on Thursday, Rinne, a Vezina Trophy finalist last season, posted his third shutout of the season and 23rd of his career on his 29th birthday.
Jonathon Blum, Matt Halischuk and Patric Hornqvist each had a goal for the Predators, who have won three of four.
Jason LaBarbera stopped 29-of-31 shots in the loss for the Coyotes, who had a three-game winning streak stopped.
"You know teams are going to come in hard when they're on the road," said LaBarbera. "I mean, I know we played last night, but that's no excuse and Pekka played a great game tonight."
After a scoreless first period that saw LaBarbera stop 11 shots and Rinne make eight saves, the Predators scored twice in the middle stanza.
The first goal came 8:01 into the frame when Blum's shot from the right point made its way though a screen.
Just over eight minutes later, the Preds made it a 2-0 game as a turnover in the Nashville end was taken the other way by Craig Smith, who skated into the Phoenix end down the right side and centered the puck with Halischuk redirecting it in.
Rinne made 13 stops in the second period and then turned aside 14 in the third with Hornqvist's empty-netter with a minute to play sealing the win.
Rinne is the all-time leader in shutouts for Nashville...Phoenix hosts Edmonton on Saturday...Nashville plays in San Jose on Saturday for the middle contest of its five-game road trip...Phoenix took a 5-2 win over the Predators in Nashville on October 13.