Coyotes 3, Avalanche 2, OT

So what if it was a fortuitous bounce that set up the winning

goal for the Phoenix Coyotes – a simple clear by an Avalanche

defenseman caroming off a referee’s skate to set up Shane Doan’s

overtime theatrics.

Mike Smith still had to stop 41 shots and the Coyotes withstood

two late penalties. As the Coyotes see it, they earned a little bit

of luck.

Doan certainly wasn’t about to apologize after scoring his

second goal of the game at 4:01 of overtime to help the Coyotes

rally for a 3-2 win over the slumping Colorado Avalanche on Monday

night.

Hey, breaks tend to even out over a long season – even an

abbreviated one.

”We’ve had a couple of bounces go against us this year,” said

Doan, who scored his 11th career overtime goal. ”You try to make

as much as you can out of them when you get them.”

The Coyotes certainly did at that.

With time winding down in the extra period, Greg Zanon tried to

flip the puck out of the zone from behind his net. Only, it smacked

off a referee’s skate as he stood in the corner and bounced to Kyle

Chipchura. He quickly passed it over to a wide-open Doan, who shot

it over the shoulder of Semyon Varlamov.

The Coyotes quickly rushed the ice to congratulate Doan.

”Got a lucky bounce and our captain buried a goal,” Smith

said. ”It was a big win.”

And a heartbreaking loss.

”At the end of the day, it’s a terrible bounce,” said Matt

Duchene, whose squad had four days of rest but still dropped its

third straight. ”As soon as you see it happen, you kind of know

it’s going to go in. That doesn’t happen very often. It’s a tough

bounce.”

Colorado had its chances to end this game long before that

carom, though.

Just before the end of regulation, David Moss was called for

holding, giving the Avs a 4-on-3 advantage to start the extra

period. Smith came up big and made one sprawling save after

another.

Moss’ penalty came just after the Coyotes held the Avs in check

when Michael Stone was called for cross-checking with 2:26

remaining in regulation.

”Disappointing,” said Duchene, whose team was 0 for 4 on the

power play.

Colorado had a chance to gain some breathing room midway through

the final period when Jamie McGinn skated in on Smith, only to have

his shot turned aside by the goaltender.

The Coyotes quickly flew up ice, getting the puck to Oliver

Ekman-Larsson near the blue line and letting him go to work. He

weaved into the zone and sent a liner through a defenseman and

right by Varlamov to tie the game at 2 at the 11:39 mark.

The goal-starved Avalanche finally got their offense cranked up

in the second period as Mark Olver scored his first goal of the

season. Three minutes later, Duchene slipped the puck past Smith on

a breakaway to give the Avs a 2-1 lead.

It was a fight-filled game with Cody McLeod squaring off against

Chipchura and Patrick Bordeleau later dropping the gloves and going

after Paul Bissonnette. All were give five-minute majors for

fighting.

Doan scored his first goal in eight games midway through the

opening period when he circled the net and sent a backhand shot at

Varlamov that trickled through the goaltender’s pads.

Early on, Colorado struggled to get anything past Smith, who was

coming off a 1-0 shootout win at San Jose on Saturday in which he

stopped 33 shots.

Smith has been difficult for the Avs to solve of late. He’s now

7-1-1 in his career against Colorado.

”Smitty was unbelievable,” Doan said. ”We all thank Smitty

because he was so good tonight.”

That’s how it’s been going for the injury-plagued Avs, who have

already been shut out three times this season. They were missing a

chunk of their offense against Phoenix because captain Gabriel

Landeskog missed a seventh straight game with a head injury and

forward John Mitchell was sidelined with the flu. Steve Downie is

out for the season with a torn ACL.

”Got to go out there and just play the hand you’re dealt,” Avs

coach Joe Sacco said. ”We can’t worry about who’s here and who’s

not in the lineup.”

The team recently went out and claimed Aaron Palushaj off

waivers from Montreal, just to add a little more sizzle to their

offense. Palushaj played in his first game in an Avs sweater on

Monday.

Notes: Coyotes D Rostislav Klesla played in his 600th game. …

The Coyotes are 15-1-2 in February over last two seasons, including

4-1-1 this season. … The Avalanche closed out a four-game home

stand with a 1-2-1 mark. … Avs F Milan Hejduk picked up his 799th

career point when he assisted on Olver’s goal.