GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Ray Whitney scored 14:04 into overtime and the Phoenix Coyotes survived another late goal in regulation to open the Western Conference semifinals with a 4-3 victory over the Nashville Predators on Friday night.
Phoenix was 33-1 when leading after two periods during the regular season, but has struggled to close out playoff games. The Coyotes allowed four tying third-period goals against Chicago in the first round and did it again, giving up Martin Erat's goal on a power play with 4:42 left.
Despite spending most of the third period and overtime in their own zone, the Coyotes won their first second-round NHL playoff game ever when Whitney, who starred for the Spokane Chiefs from 1988-1991, slipped a backhander between Pekka Rinne's pads after a faceoff in Nashville's zone.
Game 2 is Sunday in the desert.