Coyotes 3, Canucks 2, SO

Jason LaBarbera was excited to play against his former team. He

was even more thrilled to help the Phoenix Coyotes set a franchise

record in the process.

LaBarbera made 28 saves and was perfect in the shootout as the

Coyotes set a team record by winning their 10th straight home game,

3-2 over the Vancouver Canucks on Tuesday night.

“It’s always weird when you play your ex-teammates especially

when it’s so close,” said LaBarbera, who was the backup to Roberto

Luongo last year. “I ended the year with them and we had a lot of

good memories in the playoffs and I just wanted to come with a good

effort tonight.”

Ed Jovanovski and Petr Prucha scored in regulation and Lauri

Korpikoski had the lone goal of the shootout for the Coyotes, who

surpassed the nine-game streak set by the Winnipeg Jets from Dec.

27, 1992 through Jan. 23, 1993.

Phoenix has won four of its last five overall, only losing

Monday night in a shootout at San Jose.

“I’m just proud of how hard the guys competed,” said Coyotes

coach Dave Tippett. “I mean you’ve got Vancouver on a winning

streak, sitting here last night watching our gave on TV. We played

a hard, hard game in San Jose and we come back here and the guys

muster up that kind of effort, it makes our whole coaching staff

very proud.”

Mikael Samuelsson and Kyle Wellwood scored for the Canucks, who

became the last team in the league to record an overtime loss.

Wellwood tied the game with 6:12 left in regulation.

“I’ve seen Wellwood enough times last year in practice and I

knew he was goint to slow down,” LaBarbera said. “He holds the

puck out in front of him so it’s a little bit easier for me to get

to it.”

Jovanovski gave the Coyotes a 1-0 lead midway through the second

period on a wild sequence in which Phoenix forward Scottie Upshall

was knocked to the ice and Vancouver goalie Robert Luongo was

stripped of his stick.

Shane Doan took the puck from Upshall while he was flat on the

ice, skated right and then reversed the puck to Jovanovski at the

left circle. Jovanovski shot just to the left of the prone Upshall

and beat the nearly defenseless Luongo to his blocker side at 10:00

of the first.

Samuelsson tied the game just 49 seconds later when he took

advantage of a partial screen and rifled a sharp wrist shot from

the top of the right circle past LaBarbera.

“If you think you’re coming to Phoenix now for an easy two

points that’s not the case now,” Samuelsson said.

Phoenix regained the lead at 17:02 of the second when Prucha

chipped a shot off Luongo and into the net for his second goal in

two nights.

Luongo stopped 23 shots for the Canucks.

“We got one of those loser points so everybody can get off our

case because we didn’t have one,” said Canucks coach Alain

Vigneault. “But I would rather have won and still have people on

our case for not having one of those loser points.”

NOTES: Wellwood’s goal was his second in as many games. He

scored the game-winner at Calgary on Sunday. LaBarbera was making

his first start since December 17 and his second in Phoenix’s last

21 games. The Canucks have played only three overtime games this

season and all three have gone to the shootout. The Coyotes have

points in their last eight games (6-1-2).