Gagner, Hanzal lifts Coyotes past Blue Jackets, 6-3
GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) — Sam Gagner scored twice, Martin Hanzal had a goal and three assists and the Arizona Coyotes rode a rare big night on the power play to a 6-3 victory over of the Columbus Blue Jackets on Saturday night.
The Coyotes won for the fourth time in five games, scoring three power-play goals after managing only 10 in their first 19 home games.
Hanzal’s work in front of the net set up power-play goals for Oliver Ekman-Larsson’s and Gagner before he knocked in his own rebound in a 12-minute span that put Arizona ahead 4-2 entering the third period.
Mike Smith stopped 23 shots for his first victory in more than a month.
Fedor Tyutin scored his first goal in 60 games, and James Wisniewski and Ryan Johansen also scored for the Blue Jackets. Sergei Bobrovsky was pulled after allowing six goals on 31 shots.
It was a rough start to the year for Bobrovsky, who was the NHL’s third star for December, and the Blue Jackets, who went 10-1-1 last month to reach .500.
Columbus struggled in its defensive zone at the beginning of a four-game trip, while the Coyotes kicked off a six-game homestand by also getting goals from Tobias Rieder and Kyle Chipchura amid new optimism.
Coyotes players received a fist bump from new majority owner Andrew Barroway as they took the ice. Then Barrow and his son, Jake, performed the ceremonial puck drop.
Barrow, a Philadelphia hedge fund manager, completed his purchase of 51 percent of the money-losing team Wednesday. In a Friday press conference, Barroway indicated there would be a strong focus on beefing up the scouting department and took a long view of getting the team back into contention.
After falling behind 2-1, Hanzal’s gritty work and a rare success with a man advantage fueled Arizona.
The second power-play goal came after a rare penalty.
Bobrovsky lost his stick on a scramble in front, making one save with his shoulder before Johansen threw Bobrovsky stick back to him.
Johansen was called for a throwing-the-stick penalty, setting up Gagne’s goal to make it 3-2 .
That was all Smith needed in his first start since he was pulled in a 7-1 loss to Vancouver on Dec. 22. He improved to 6-15-2.
NOTES: The Coyotes took issue with Jack Skille’s hit that dropped Ekman-Larsson along the boards. Ekman-Larsson returned in the third period. Joe Vitale, who returned after missing two games with injury, later engaged Skille in a long fight. … The Coyotes lost D David Schlemko to Dallas in a waiver claim Saturday. Blue Jackets D Dalton Prout took two minor penalties. Sean Collins replaced Adam Cracknell (healthy scratch) on Columbus’ fourth line.