GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) — Shayne Gostisbehere scored two goals and the Arizona Coyotes rallied from a four-goal deficit to beat the Nashville Predators 5-4 Friday night in their final game at Gila River Arena.
Nashville scored three goals in the opening three minutes and went up 4-0 midway through the first period, appearing as if it would spoil Arizona’s final game after 19 seasons in Glendale.
The Coyotes turned the music back on, setting off roars from more than 15,000 fans with five straight goals. Michael Carcone tied it early in the third period and Gostisbehere put the Coyotes up 5-4 midway through by beating Connor Ingram from near the blue line.
Harri Sateri stopped 27 shots after replacing Karel Vejmelka for Arizona, which finished with the NHL’s second-worst record behind Montreal at (25-50-7).
Colton Sissons, Ryan Johansen, Eeli Tolvanen and Mikael Granlund scored for the Predators, who now face top-seeded Colorado instead of Calgary in the first round of the playoffs next week.
The Coyotes had numerous former players on hand to celebrate the franchise’s 19 seasons at Gila River Arena before moving across the Valley of the Sun next year.
Once former captain Shane Doan and Jeremy Roenick dropped the ceremonial puck, the Predators dumped over the punchbowl at their going-away party.
Sissons scored 25 seconds into the game, Johansen followed with another and Tolvanen made it three goals in the opening 2:51, leaving Coyotes fans stunned.
Granlund made it 4-0 a few minutes later, chasing Vejmelka with a fourth goal on Nashville’s sixth shot.
Then the Coyotes found the light switch.
Gostisbehere scored late in the first period, Travis Boyd tipped in a shot in the second and Jack McBain punched in a rebound late in the period. Carcone needed less than two minutes of the third to tie it, beating Ingram from the right circle seconds after Nashville killed off a penalty.
Gostisbehere banged a shot off the post past Ingram and Sateri made some tough saves down the stretch to end Arizona’s run at Gila River Arena with a dramatic win.
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John Marshall, The Associated Press