By Dave Holstein
PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer
COLUMBUS, Ohio (Ticker) — Rookie Viktor Tikhonov scored to snap
a tie with 2:32 remaining in the third period as the Phoenix
Coyotes ended a six-game winless streak with a 3-2 victory over
the Columbus Blue Jackets on Wednesday.
“It was good to get the win,” Phoenix coach Wayne Gretzky said.
“It was a tough trip but now we get to go back home and wear our
own uniforms and maybe get some new luck in it.”
“This is the third or fourth game we’ve had like this in our
building, where we have out played a team badly and not won,”
Columbus coach Ken Hitchcock said. “We should have won this
game. When you outplay a team this badly and don’t win it’s
frustrating to everybody.”
Defenseman David Hale and Daniel Carcillo added second-period
goals and Mikael Tellqvist made 38 saves for his second win of
the season as the Coyotes avoided a winless four-game road trip.
“First of all, our goaltender was absolutely brilliant,” Gretzky
said. “Then we get some timely goals from guys that don’t score
a lot that work hard every night and do a real good job for us
in the role they play.”
A nice pass from behind the net from captain Shane Doan set up
Tikhonov, who used a nifty move to slip the puck past Columbus
goaltender Steve Mason for his second career goal.
“It was a great play by Doaner,” Tikhonov said. “He made an
unbelievable no-look pass behind his back and I just did what I
had to do and put it in the back of the net.”
The goal came minutes after Phoenix successfully killed off a
54-second 5-on-3 power play. Columbus went 0-for-8 with the man
advantage in the contest.
“You have a power play 5-on-3 at the end and we’ve got to get it
done,” Columbus center Derick Brassard said. “Its
Phoenix entered the game having been outscored, 23-10, in its
last six games and fell behind in the first. Columbus opened
the scoring at 8:08 of the opening period when Kristian Huselius
scored on a wrist shot from between the face off circles,
beating Tellqvist between the pads.
Huselius almost had his second goal of the game at 11:30 of the
second period but his backhand shot from close range was
deflected high off Tellqvist glove, keeping it a one-goal game.
Phoenix tied the game midway though the second period after Hale
scored his first career NHL goal at 9:41. Hale ripped a slap
shot from the top of the left face off circle that beat Mason
low on the glove side, knotting the score at 1-1.
“Getting that first one was terrific and one I will always
remember,” Hale said. “I just tried to hit is as hard as I
could and get it on net and I was fortunate it went in.”
The Coyotes took the lead when Carcillo scored his second goal
of the season on the power play at 12:16. Carcillo redirected a
shot by defenseman Keith Yandle from the left slot to give the
Coyotes a 2-1 lead.
Mason made 22 saves and is now 4-2-1 since being called up on
November 4. Both of his regulation losses have come against the
“It was a tough loss,” Mason said. “I have to be better and
make a couple of saves on those goals.”
Columbus tied the game, 2-2, early in the third period.
Center R.J. Umberger placed a beautiful backhand pass from the
right side to Chimera in the left slot and Chimera tapped the
puck into an open net just 60 seconds into the period.
It was a physical first period as Columbus right wing Derek
Dorsett suffered an undisclosed injury following a first-period
fight with Carcillo. Phoenix veteran center Olli Jokinen
suffered an upper body injury in the first period. Neither
player returned to the action.