GLENDALE, Ariz. – Ottawa finally got a victory at the end of its western trip. Then again, a road win in Arizona is nothing rare.
Mike Fisher scored two goals, his first in 19 games, and the Senators snapped a three-game winless streak Saturday night, adding to Phoenix’s home woes with a 4-2 victory over the fading Coyotes.
“I was a little surprised,” Fisher joked. “I didn’t know if I was seeing something seeing that red light go on. It was nice to get one and get rolling.”
The Coyotes blew a 2-1 second-period lead and lost 4-2 for the second game in a row. They dropped their third straight at home and remained five points behind Colorado and Nashville for the final playoff spots in the Western Conference with 13 games left.
Phoenix is an NHL-worst 14-17-3 at home this season but 20-13-2 on the road.
Coach Wayne Gretzky said he’s never seen anything like it. He even had the team stay at a hotel before the game to try to simulate road conditions.
“This is such a unique team in that we just can’t find a way to win at home, and yet on the road we play such a tremendously different game,” he said. “We can’t put our finger on it. We’ve tried everything.”
Ottawa scored one short-handed goal and two on power plays.
“It seems like there’s a five-minute span or a 10-minute span where we kind of let our guards down,” said Phoenix rookie Peter Mueller, who scored his 21st goal. “It’s definitely tough. We don’t know what’s going on.”
Dany Heatley scored the go-ahead goal, his 32nd of the season, on a power play 1:33 into the third period, then Antoine Vermette’s rebound goal made it 4-2 at 9:59.
“It’s a big two points,” Vermette said. “The standings are very tight, but more important for us is to get that feeling back. Hopefully we can carry it over now.”
Ottawa improved to 2-3-1 since John Paddock was fired and general manager Bryan Murray returned as coach.
“It was getting out of hand,” Murray said, “the L.A. game where we couldn’t score any goals and we were pressing very hard. To get a few goals and to win a hockey game, now we can go home off the road trip. We play division people, and it shouldn’t be very hard to get up for the games and play much better.”
The loss came two nights after Phoenix blew a 2-1 second-period to drop a 4-2 game at home to Montreal.
Mueller and fellow rookie Craig Weller scored in a 1:31 span of the second period to give the Coyotes their lead.
The Senators, beaten 2-0 at Los Angeles on Thursday night, scored first on a short-handed goal at 10:49 of the first period on a breakaway. Dean McAmmond sent a perfect pass from the left corner of the rink to the front of the net, where Fisher deflected it in for his 20th goal of the season.
Weller’s acrobatic shot over the left shoulder of goalie Martin Gerber tied it at 1-1 at 8:45 of the second period.
Phoenix’s go-ahead goal came when Mueller’s wrist shot on a breakaway just over Gerber’s left hand, and it was 2-1 at 10:16 of the second. Keith Yandel had a lead pass for an assist on Mueller’s 21st goal of the season.
The Senators tied it on Fisher’s power-play goal with two minutes left in the second period. It was his 21st goal of the season.
Ottawa was without leading scorer Daniel Alfredsson for the third straight game because of back spasms.
Notes: The teams hadn’t met since Jan. 10, 2006, when the Coyotes lost at Ottawa 7-2. … The Senators lead the NHL in scoring but, discounting a 5-2 victory over Pittsburgh on March 1, had scored a total of four goals in its previous six games, including three shutout losses.