By JIM DIAMOND
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Pekka Rinne made 29 saves to lead the Nashville Predators to a 2-0 win over Phoenix on Thursday night, damaging the Coyotes' playoff hopes.
Craig Smith and Patric Hornqvist scored for Nashville, which has won four of its last five.
The loss hurt Phoenix's quest for the Western Conference's eighth and final playoff spot. The Coyotes entered the day two points behind the Dallas Stars in the wild card race. Both teams have two games remaining, including Sunday's season finale when Dallas visits Phoenix.
Phoenix will need to finish the season at least one point ahead of Dallas in the standings since the Stars will hold the first tiebreaker of more regulation and overtime wins no matter what happens over the course of the final two games.
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