NHL: Phoenix 2, Nashville 1

GLENDALE, Ariz., May 8 (UPI) -- Mike Smith turned aside 32-of-33 shots Monday and the Phoenix Coyotes advanced to the Western Conference finals with a series-clinching 2-1 win over Nashville.

Smith stopped all 22 shots he faced over the first two periods and then clamped down after yielding a third-period tally to the Predators' Colin Wilson, boosting the Coyotes to the franchise's first-ever conference semifinal series victory.


Derek Morris and Martin Hanzal scored second-period goals for Phoenix, which beat Nashville 4-games-to-1 and moves on to face Pacific Division rival Los Angeles for the Western Conference crown.

The victory came hours after NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman announced a tentative deal had been struck to sell the league-owned Phoenix franchise to a group headed by former San Jose Sharks Chief Executive Greg Jamison.

Pekka Rinne made 15 saves for Nashville.

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