Coyotes 5, Canucks 4
The Phoenix Coyotes’ trade for Antoine Vermette is starting to
Vermette scored the winning goal and added two assists as the
Coyotes held on for a 5-4 victory over the Vancouver Canucks on
The Coyotes won for the second time in eight games (2-4-2) after
overcoming an early 2-0 deficit against a rejuvenated Canucks squad
that featured several different forward and defense
”We didn’t make it easy on ourselves to go out and spot them a
2-0 lead early,” Phoenix coach Dave Tippitt said. ”But we knew
they were going to come hard (after) all the talk about days off
and being rested.”
Rostislav Klesla, Shane Doan, Oliver Ekman-Larson, and Gilbert
Brule also scored for Phoenix, and Ray Whitney had three assists.
The seventh-place Coyotes increased their lead to three points over
the San Jose Sharks in the Western Conference.
After a slow start following a Feb. 22 trade from last-place
Columbus, Vermette has two goals and four assists in his past five
games after getting just one point in his first six.
”It is (nice to contribute), no doubt about that. First couple
of games it was almost a joke,” he said. ”I was right around it
and if you keep doing the right things it’s nice to get rewarded at
such good timing. Guys are playing well and it’s nice to get
Alex Burrows, Ryan Kesler, David Booth, and Dan Hamhuis scored
for the Canucks, who have lost six of eight. Hamhuis’ goal was his
first in 35 games.
Vancouver was 2 for 3 on the power play while Phoenix was 2 for
2. Both teams had gone five games without scoring with the man
The high-scoring game came after the teams’ previous two
matchups were both decided by 2-1 scores, with each getting a
”It’s usually not the way we want to play, but certainly we’ll
take the points tonight,” Vermette said. ”If we find a way to
win, that’s good. But, usually, we play a tighter defensive game.
We’ll take it at this point no matter how we get it.”
Brule’s tiebreaking goal gave the Coyotes a 4-3 lead with 1:39
left in the second period as Taylor Pyatt put a shot in off him as
he stood in the crease over fallen goalie Roberto Luongo. The goal
was allowed to stand following a video review.
Vermette gave the Coyotes a two-goal cushion on a power play
1:38 into the third period as he put in Ekman-Larson’s rebound. The
goal came after Canucks defenseman Kevin Bieksa took a retaliatory
slashing penalty on Daymond Langkow.
Vancouver coach Alain Vigneault said his club gave up too many
odd-man rushes that resulted in goals.
”There’s a lot of things that we have to clean up, because if
you look at their chances, that’s where their chances came from,”
Vigneault said. ”It wasn’t from spending a lot of time in our end,
because they didn’t spend a lot of time in our end tonight.”
Hamhuis pulled Vancouver to 5-4 with 7:49 remaining as he moved
in from his point position to stuff in Daniel Sedin’s rebound. The
goal was Hamhuis’ first since Dec. 23 against Calgary.
”We played good enough to win tonight but they ended up getting
one more than us,” Bieksa said. ”A potential first-round opponent
right there. We got a taste of what that series would be
Burrows made coach Alain Vigneault’s decision to pair him with
Jannik Hansen on the third line look smart right away. On the
line’s first shift of the game, Burrows put in Hansen’s pass from
behind the net at 2:18. The puck fluttered past Phoenix goalie Mike
Smith after Burrows failed to get good shot on it.
Kesler made it 2-0 about 7 minutes later as he knocked in Henrik
Sedin’s cross-ice pass during a power play. The assist was Sedin’s
first point in nine games and the power-play goal was Vancouver’s
first since the last meeting with Phoenix on Feb. 28.
The goal came moments after Smith had robbed Kesler on a similar
play, gloving his slap shot from roughly the same spot.
Klesla pulled Phoenix within a goal at 11:22 of the first as he
fired in Vermette’s long rebound. Doan tied the score about 5
minutes later as he went wide around Luongo on a 2-on-1 and jammed
the puck past the goalie.
”It was one of those that you’re coming across trying to get to
the net,” Doan said. ”(Whitney) told me about trying to stuff it.
… I found a way.”
The teams combined for 31 shots in the first period as Vancouver
outshot Phoenix 18-13.
In the second period, the Canucks took a too-many-men penalty,
and it cost them as Ekman-Larson put in a slap shot at 7:58 during
the ensuing power play. The puck appeared to hit Hansen’s skate as
he cover the Coyotes’ defenseman near the blue line and then change
But the Canucks got a power-play chance of their own soon after
the goal, and Booth put in Chris Higgins’ pass from behind the net
to tie it at 3-3.
NOTES: Vancouver winger Manny Malhotra was an unexpected scratch
due to an undisclosed personal issue. He took part in the club’s
morning skate. … Canucks winger Dale Weise played after being
scratched for the previous six games.