GLENDALE, Ariz. – Adrian Aucoin beat Andrew Raycroft in a shootout with a little help from Phoenix backup goalie Jason LaBarbera.
Aucoin scored in the sixth round of a shootout, and Ilya Bryzgalov deflected Mason Raymond’s final attempt for Vancouver high over the net to give the Coyotes a 4-3 victory over the Canucks on Wednesday night.
“I got a little information from LaBarbera,” said Aucoin, who scored his third shootout winner of the season. “I guess he dropped his glove a little bit and gave me a little room up there. I don’t really like to think too much but maybe I should start.”
Raycroft stopped the first two shots he faced in the shootout before allowing four straight goals. Aucoin’s winner was the fifth straight goal in the tiebreaker.
“I would have liked to call a timeout and regroup a little bit,” Raycroft said. “But it still was a good road point for us.”
Lee Stempniak scored twice and also connected in the tiebreaker, Taylor Pyatt added a goal and Vernon Fiddler had two assists to help the Coyotes finish their four-game post-Olympic homestand with three straight victories.
“We were very fortunate to get any points out of it let alone two,” Phoenix coach Dave Tippett said. “We’re playing against a team that played last night and they dictated the play. We need to get on the road. Too much home cooking right now.”
Henrik Sedin had a goal and an assist, and Mikael Samuelsson and Christian Ehrhoff also scored for the Canucks, who lost for the second time in six games as they brought their 14-game, Olympic-forced road trip to an end with an 8-5-1 mark.
“I thought everything considered we did a real good job,” Canucks coach Alain Vigneault said. “It’s just too bad we didn’t get to close it in the shootout.”
Stempniak, acquired from Toronto at the trade deadline, gave Phoenix a 3-2 lead 35 seconds into the third period on a wrist shot from between the hashes.
Ehrhoff tied tit 59 seconds later, scoring into an open net after Pavol Demitra lured Bryzgalov well past the left edge of the crease.
Bryzgalov maintained the tie when he reached back with his blocker to stop Demitra’s rolling shot on the goal line.
Stempniak opened the scoring at 10:16 of the first, skating down the left side on a 2-on-1 break and keeping the puck for a quick wrist shot over Raycroft’s blocker from the bottom of the circle.
“You’ve got to love a guy who cares that much, that he comes in and plays so hard to endear himself to his teammates,” Tippett said. “He’s a gritty player.”
Sedin tied it with 45.1 seconds left in the period after Samuelsson outfought Phoenix defenceman Jim Vandermeer for the puck in the right corner. Samuelsson took two strides back up ice and fired a pass to Sedin, who beat Bryzgalov with a wrist shot for his 27th goal.
Another defensive miscue by Phoenix led to the Canucks’ second goal. Ed Jovanovski corralled Sedin’s errant pass from behind the net intended for Samuelsson in front of the crease and looped behind the net. Samuelsson caught up to Jovanovski and slapped the puck off the defenceman’s stick and past Bryzgalov from the front left edge of the crease to make it 2-1 at 36 seconds of the second.
The goal was Samuelsson’s fourth in two nights and seventh in his past five games.
Pyatt made it 2-2 at 9:39 of the period, regaining the puck after a poke check by Raycroft and scoring on a rebound for his 100th career goal.
NOTES: Two of the Canucks’ three overtime losses have come in Phoenix. … Vancouver’s trip was the longest in league history, surpassing the 11-game road trip the Calgary Flames endured in 1988, also to accommodate the Winter Olympics. … The Coyotes will play 11 of their final 15 games on the road. … With his two points, Sedin moved within one of becoming the highest scoring centre in Canucks history. Sedin has 136 goals and 414 assists for 550 points in 713 career games.