GLENDALE, Ariz. – Daniel Carcillo wiped the smiles off the Atlanta Thrashers’ faces.
Carcillo scored in the eighth round of the shootout and the Phoenix Coyotes beat the Thrashers 4-3 on Thursday night to snap a six-game home losing streak.
“I know a bunch of guys on their bench and they were laughing when I went out there,” said Carcillo, who is better known for his fists than his deft scoring touch. “I was laughing, too. It’s a little bit of pressure but I tried to have fun with it.”
Shane Doan also scored in the shootout, and Joakim Lindstrom, Viktor Tikhonov and Steven Goertzen had goals in regulation for the Coyotes, who won for the second time in 11 games since the all-star break. Phoenix has slipped from fifth in the Western Conference to five points out of the playoffs.
“We’ve got to win every night,” Coyotes coach Wayne Gretzky said. “If we’re going to get in this race again we have to win four, five or six in a row.”
Ilya Kovalchuk, Erik Christensen and Bryan Little scored in regulation, and Vyacheslav Kozlov added a shootout goal for the Thrashers.
Kovalchuk sent the game to overtime when he scored with 52.5 seconds remaining.
Forty seconds after the Thrashers pulled goalie Kari Lehtonen for an extra attacker, Bryan little drew Phoenix goalie Mikael Tellqvist to the top right side of the crease before passing to Kovalchuk for the shot into the open left side.
“It was a good point,” Kovalchuk said. “It’s been a frustrating season but we’re trying to build something for next year.”
Kovalchuk has scored in six straight games to push his season total to 30.
“He’s been wonderful,” Atlanta coach John Anderson said. “In the last month, he’s probably been the best player in the NHL, him and (Alex) Ovechkin.”
Little pulled the Thrashers to 3-2 at 12:16, completing a 2-on-1 break with Kovalchuk. Kovalchuk’s initial pass from the right side was blocked by Michalek but the Thrashers’ left wing reached out and backhanded the puck to Little in the right circle
Atlanta took a 1-0 lead at 6:28 of the first on Christensen’s wrist shot just inside the right post from the middle of the faceoff circle. Lindstrom tied it at 10:01 when he tipped Doan’s shot from the top of the left circle past Lehtonen for a power-play goal.
Tikhonov snapped a 1-1 tie at 1:47 of the second period when he redirected Zbynek Michalek’s shot from the point past Lehtonen. Goertzen made it 3-1 at 6:51 of the period, taking Carcillo’s pass from behind the net on the left front edge of the crease for the one-timer.
Tellqvist made 19 saves in his second straight start for the victory. Lehtonen stopped 37 shots for the Thrashers.
“Obviously Telly was unreal in the shotoout,” Doan said. “You put your goalie in a situation where he has to make the save and he kept doing it.”
Notes: Phoenix has won 10 of 11 meetings between the teams. … The Thrashers were making their first visit to Phoenix since Dec. 5, 2005. … Phoenix defenceman Keith Yandle played his 100th career game. … Lindstrom’s goal was his second in his last 14 games. … Kovalchuk has nine goals and four assists during his scoring streak.