Rinne wins 19th, Predators beat Coyotes 5-1
GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) -- James Neal had a goal and an assist, Pekka Rinne stopped 31 shots for his NHL-best 19th win, and the Nashville Predators beat slumping Arizona 5-1 Thursday night in the Coyotes' eighth straight home loss.
Mike Fisher, Ryan Ellis, Calle Jarnkrok and Olli Jokinen also scored in the Predators' second consecutive win. Mike Ribeiro added his team-best 17th assist in a boo-filled return to Arizona following a summer contract buyout.
Antoine Vermette's goal early in the first period was the only blemish for Rinne, who improved to 19-5-1.
Mike Smith had 33 saves as Arizona extended its longest home skid since the team moved from Winnipeg in 1996. The Coyotes have lost four straight overall and nine of 11.
The Coyotes had several scoring chances thwarted by Rinne in the second period. After a sloppy start to the third, Nashville coach Peter Laviolette called his timeout.
His team quickly responded.
Jarnkrok knocked in a rebound at 2:43, then Jokinen scored his second goal of the season when the puck went off his skate and through a struggling Smith less than 3 minutes later to make it 5-1.
The Arizona goalie dropped to 5-14-2 as the Coyotes' nightmare season showed no sign of turning around. Arizona has been outscored 19-5 in its four-game skid.
Ribeiro earned an assist when Ellis redirected Neal's shot into an open net with 1:30 left in the first period to make it 3-1.
Before that, Ribeiro was booed every time he touched the puck. The Coyotes bought out the final three years of his contract last summer, with general manager Don Maloney citing "behavioral issues" along with Ribeiro's dismal 47-point season as the reason.
Ribeiro is more than halfway to that total with 25 points for Nashville.
The Coyotes got wing David Moss back after a 22-game absence due to injury, and he started on a line with Martin Erat and Martin Hanzal. And with Shea Weber serving a holding penalty, Arizona got an early goal. Vermette's one-timer from the slot on a feed from Mikkel Boedker made it 1-0 at 4:11.
It was the first power-play goal allowed by Nashville in five games. But the Arizona lead didn't last long.
With Oliver Ekman-Larsson in the box for holding and Michael Stone without his broken stick, Fisher got his first of the season on a redirect at 6:57.
NOTES: Nashville's David Poile earned his 1,170th win as a GM, tying former Boston boss Harry Sinden for second in NHL history. ... Predators C Derek Roy (upper body) returned after a five-game absence. ... Predators C Paul Gaustad (upper body) didn't dress. ... The crowd of 10,194 was the smallest of the season for Arizona.