Coyotes 6, Maple Leafs 3
The resurgent Phoenix Coyotes pushed aside the Toronto Maple
Leafs with a four-goal second period.
Petr Prucha scored twice, and Keith Yandle and Martin Hanzal
each had three assists in the Coyotes’ 6-3 victory over the Maple
Leafs on Wednesday night.
Vernon Fiddler, Paul Bissonnette, Scottie Upshall and Radim
Vrbata also scored, and Daniel Winnik added two assists. Phil
Kessel scored for the third straight game for the Maple Leafs, and
Jamal Mayers and Alexei Ponikarovsky added goals.
The Coyotes are 7-1-1 in their last nine games and 20-12-2
overall in their first season under coach Dave Tippett.
“We really expected to win,” said Coyotes captain Shane Doan,
adding the players knew they were going to be competitive despite
the team’s uncertain future.
“Tippett knows what he wants to do and was able to dictate
exactly what everybody wants and that really makes it easy.”
Prucha opened the scoring in the first period, taking pass at
the side of the crease and wiring a shot short-side past Vesa
Some sloppy defensive play by Toronto allowed Prucha to put his
team up 2-0 just 51 seconds into the second, but exactly a minute
later Mayers got that one back on a breakaway started by defenseman
However, Phoenix took over with three straight goals.
“They were kind of swarming everywhere, in our zone and in
their zone and they made us look pretty bad,” Maple Leafs
defenseman Jeff Finger said. “No bounces went our way and they got
a few their way.”
Fiddler backhanded home a loose puck that came to rest in the
slot before Bissonnette tipped home a point shot from Yandle to
make it 4-1.
“I was pretty excited and I look forward to talking to my dad
after the game,” Bissonnette said. “It was his first NHL
Upshall was credited with his goal when the puck went through
the Toronto goalmouth, deflected off Ian White’s skate and trickled
over the line before Toskala could smother it with his glove.
Kessel scored a late second-period power-play goal before
Ponikarovsky brought the score the Maple Leafs to 5-3 from the high
slot in the third.
The loss ended a four-game home winning streak for Toronto,
while the Coyotes earned their fourth consecutive victory over the
Notes: Doan played his 999th game. … Toronto defenseman Luke
Schenn was a healthy scratch for the third straight game. … The
game was Phoenix’s first in Toronto since Jan. 14, 2006.