GLENDALE, Ariz. – Mikael Tellqvist has turned the Coyotes around.
He stopped 37 shots in his second consecutive start and the Phoenix Coyotes beat the Colorado Avalanche 2-1 Friday afternoon. “This is two outstanding games in a row for him,” Gretzky said. “He’s definitely been the difference the last two games.”
Derek Morris and Kevin Porter each scored goals and Enver Lisin added a pair of assists for Phoenix, which won its second straight after a six-game winless streak.
“It’s just for me to come in and stop the puck,” said Tellqvist, who has made 74 saves the past two games. “But the defence also is doing one hell of a job, too.”
The Coyotes were without centre Olli Jokinen, who strained his shoulder Wednesday in Columbus and will miss two to four weeks.
“He’s one of our top offensive guys and we need other guys to fill the scoring void, me being one of them,” Porter said.
Ryan Smyth scored for the Avalanche, who lost for the fourth time in six games.
Colorado earned a power play when Peter Mueller was whistled for delay of game with 2:30 to go, but Marek Svatos caught Martin Hanzal with a high stick with 1:05 remaining to negate the advantage.
“If we continue to play with that effort and that intensity, the majority of the time we’re going to come away with a win,” said Avalanche coach Tony Granato.
Colorado centre Joe Sakic, who has played in just two of Colorado’s last nine games because of back trouble, dressed but lasted only one shift before retiring to the trainer’s room.
“We thought we were going to have him in there,” Granato said. “To have him just a shift changes your whole dynamic of what you’re going to do.”
Morris, back in the lineup after missing three games with an upper-body injury, gave the Coyotes a 1-0 lead at 3:33 of the first. Morris gained control at the outside of the right faceoff circle and took advantage of a screen by Daniel Carcillo to beat Peter Budaj on a wrist shot into the upper left corner.
Porter made it 2-0 at 4:49 of the second on a rebound from the left side of the crease. Keith Yandle had taken the original shot from the left faceoff circle and Lisin’s attempted rebound shot was blocked in front of the crease by Colorado defenceman Scott Hannan.
Smyth cut the lead to 2-1 with 15:53 remaining when he redirected Ian Laperriere’s bouncing shot from the right boards under Tellqvist.
Notes: Colorado outshot Phoenix 31-13 after the first period. … Jokinen had played in 397 games dating to the 2002-03 season. … Colorado defencemen John-Michael Liles and Adam Foote did not make the trip. Foote is out with neck, back and knee injuries. Liles missed Wednesday’s victory over St. Louis due to flu-like symptoms and was still feeling ill on Thursday. … Coyotes LW Daniel Winnik returned to the lineup after missing six games with an upper-body injury. … Budaj has lost his last four starts against the Coyotes. … Phoenix debuted its predominantly black third jersey, its first new look since going to the current red-and-white colour scheme in 2003.