Coyotes 4, Thrashers 3
The Phoenix Coyotes were not at their best and still managed to
pick up two points.
That’s the way things have been going for them lately.
Martin Hanzal scored the go-ahead goal late in the second
period, Keith Yandle had three assists and the Coyotes beat the
Atlanta Thrashers 4-3 on Thursday night for their sixth straight
Phoenix, one victory short of its longest winning streak this
season, leads the Pacific Division with 71 points.
”We found just enough to win, and do what we had to do for the
two points,” coach Dave Tippett said. ”I would like for us to
protect the puck better, but getting the two points was very
The Coyotes came back from a 3-2 deficit. Lauri Korpikoski tied
it with less than 5 minutes left in the second and Hanzal scored
the deciding goal with 26 seconds remaining in the period.
”Guys came through with the game on the line,” Yandle said.
”Yes, we were down by a goal, but everyone came together and we
managed to pull it out.”
Atlanta fell to 1-5-1 in its last seven games. The Trashers
continue to drop in the Eastern Conference, and still have games at
Edmonton and Buffalo before returning home.
”Seems like it’s the same story every game,” said Rich
Peverley, who helped the Atlanta effort with a goal and two
assists. ”There’s an intangible that’s missing, and we need to
figure out what that may be. We keep losing games, and losing
Phoenix goalie Ilya Bryzgalov, who allowed an average of 1.15
goals in his previous five games, yielded more than two for the
first time since giving up five against Vancouver on Feb. 2. But he
improved his season mark to 25-14-6.
After the Coyotes’ Mikkel Boedker was whistled for hooking just
more than 3 minutes into the game, Phoenix struck short-handed. On
a 2-on-1, Eric Belanger converted a pass from Korpikoski into his
seventh goal of the season, and the Coyotes’ fifth short-handed
tally of the season.
Beaten on the 2-on-1 was Dustin Byfuglien, playing his first
game since signing a five-year, $26 million contract with
The Thrashers quickly responded on the same penalty 1:12 later.
Chris Thorburn managed to get the puck past Bryzgalov in a goal
mouth scramble for his seventh power-play goal of the season. That
tied Byfuglien for the team lead.
Phoenix recaptured the lead when captain Shane Doan took a
rebound off the back boards and beat Ondrej Pavelec at 11:37 of the
For the second time, the Thrashers tied the game on a power
play. Taking a perfect drop pass from Peverley, captain Andrew Ladd
fired in a wrist shot at 4:10 of the middle period.
The Thrashers took the lead at 9:29 of the second when
Peverley’s wrist shot hit the back of the net. The goal was his
14th but only his second in his last 13 games.
Phoenix tied it at 3 with Korpikoski’s goal at 15:44 of the
second. Hanzal’s 13th of the season gave the Coyotes a 4-3 lead
going into the final period.
Though the Thrashers outshot Phoenix 11-8 in the final period,
they couldn’t get the tying goal.
”Our composure level is not where it needs to be,” Atlanta
coach Craig Ramsey said. ”We’re putting the puck on net, and
sooner or later it’s bound to go in.”
Notes: Coyotes D Ed Jovanovski left in the second period with a
lower-body injury and did not return. … Ladd’s power-play score
was his third goal in the last two games, and a team-high 20th of
the season. … Adrian Aucoin and Taylor Pyatt (both lower back
injuries) were Phoenix scratches. … By scoring in the first
period, Doan extended his points streak to three games. … It was
the third time Yandle has compiled three points in a game this