The Phoenix Coyotes have been outshot in all but one game this
season. They hope to buck the trend against the NHL’s leading
Steven Stamkos and the Tampa Bay Lightning bring one of the
league’s most potent offenses to Jobing.com Arena on Saturday
The Coyotes (3-3-3) snapped a three-game losing streak Thursday
night, winning 4-2 in Detroit as Ilya Bryzgalov was forced to make
“It keeps you in the game all the time, the whole game,”
Bryzgalov said. “But don’t need that many shots.”
Not that Bryzgalov seems to mind. Bryzgalov is 5-0-1 with a 2.63
goals-against average in his last six starts when facing 40 or more
shots. He’s won his only two starts against Tampa Bay and is likely
to be in net Saturday.
“He gives us a chance to win every time he’s in there,” coach
Dave Tippett told the team’s official website. “When you look at
our top players and their production so far, it hasn’t been very
good. The margin for error is pretty slim, and he makes sure that
margin for error stays close. He’s been the one constant.”
Phoenix’s offense isn’t giving its goaltending much help. Ed
Jovanovski and Eric Belanger lead the Coyotes with only six points,
and they’re each scoreless in three of their last four games.
Meanwhile, Stamkos continues to thrive for the Lightning
(6-2-1). The second-year star has eight points in his last three
games, including three assists in a 5-3 victory Wednesday night
over Pittsburgh and a hat trick Oct. 22 at Atlanta.
The Lightning, scoring 3.56 goals per game, trailed the Penguins
3-1 in the first period and pulled goaltender Mike Smith in favor
of Dan Ellis. Tampa Bay responded by scoring four unanswered goals
and Ellis stopped all 24 shots he faced.
“I think we’re always coming back,” coach Guy Boucher said.
“Whether we’re trailing by one, two, sometimes even three, that’s a
trademark of our game that we have. I think that’s a tribute to the
character on the players we have on this team.”
Stamkos improved his point total to 18 and is also among the
league leaders with a plus-8 rating. The Lightning have won 12 of
the 14 games in Stamkos’ career in which he has three or more
Martin St. Louis scored two goals and added an assist for the
“We have a long way to go, but I love the way this team
battles,” St. Louis said. “We’re in games no matter what. We bring
Despite Ellis’ solid effort in relief of Smith, Tampa Bay’s
goaltending has been an issue. Two of the Penguins’ first-period
goals came short-handed, and the Lightning are near the bottom in
the NHL with an .881 save percentage.
The Lightning played Wednesday without Simon Gagne (stiff neck),
Dominic Moore (groin) and Matt Smaby (illness). They’re all listed
The Coyotes have won two of the last three meetings after
dropping the previous six. Tampa Bay has won four of the last five