A well-rested Pekka Rinne figured to be a dominating presence for the Predators, who were trying to win Game 1 of the Western Conference semifinals against the Coyotes on Friday.

Rinne was on the ropes in regulation, weathered that storm, but then lost the battle of the goalies to the Coyotes' Mike Smith in the 4-3 overtime defeat.

But Rinne, a Vezina Trophy finalist, did not look at the matchup as a personal contest against Smith.

"No, he does whatever he can do to help their team, and that's what I do, too," he said. "(I) just focus on the Phoenix Coyotes as a team."

Rinne had to face only 24 shots, 18 fewer than Smith. In the third period, he was pretty much an onlooker as the Predators held a 16-1 edge in shots.

He did not look like the same goaltender that led the Predators to a first-round win over the Red Wings. He said that the scarcity of Coyotes shots did not blur his focus.

"It's playoff time," he said. "You must stay focused and be ready. They got the first game, now just get ready for the second game."

The Predators had six days off since their series win over the Red Wings, but Rinne said that made no difference. Three times against the Coyotes, Nashville battled back from one-goal deficits and pushed the action for most of the game.

"I thought we played well," he said. "It started maybe a little slow and made a few mistakes and they made us pay and just the executed at pretty high level.