COLUMBUS, Ohio – The ping of vulcanized rubber on metal sent a stab of pain through Shane Doan.
Robbed again. In his 897th career game, he was prevented from getting his first three-goal game. Again. Doan had to be content with two goals and an assist in the Phoenix Coyotes’ 5-2 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets on Wednesday night.
Doan had his third two-goal game of the season – and 30th of his career – to help the Coyotes to their third win in a row.
About all he could do was laugh about his long empty-net shot that hit the right post with just a few seconds remaining.
“That takes a lot more skill to hit the post from there than to actually put it into the net,” he said with a grin. “I think this is my 900th game coming up and I still haven’t gotten one. I’ve got so many two-goal games, it’s ridiculous.”
Coach Wayne Gretzky couldn’t believe the Doan’s didn’t get his first hat trick.
“I thought there was no way he could hit the post about four feet up, as it’s bouncing from our blue-line. I thought for sure that it was going to go in,” Gretzky said.
“He’s playing as good as I’ve ever seen him.”
Ilya Bryzgalov made 31 saves, while Steve Reinprecht and Kevin Porter added goals for Phoenix, and Martin Hanzal converted the empty-netter after Doan’s try caught metal. Keith Yandle chipped in with two assists.
Bryzgalov has won his last three starts and four of the last five, giving up just eight goals in those five games.
It was the first career loss for Columbus goalie Steve Mason, who was the NHL’s second star of the week after winning his first three starts last week.
“It definitely puts everything into perspective,” Mason said. “Obviously I still have a lot of hard work to do in order to stick around here. This is a good wakeup call for everybody; we have to come and play our best game every night.”
Rick Nash, ending the second-longest goal-less streak of his career, picked up his first goal in 10 games when he ended the shutout in the third period with a power-play goal that ended an 0-for-20 streak with a man advantage by Columbus.
Derick Brassard, who assisted on Nash’s goal, added a late goal, his seventh. He came into the game leading all league rookies in points with 14.
The game got chippy in the final minute, with Columbus rookie Jake Voracek getting hit with an inadvertent stick to the face while Phoenix’s Olli Jokinen was cross-checking Brassard next to the Coyotes goal.
But the Coyotes already had the game well in hand by then.
“We played very sharp in the defensive zone,” Bryzgalov said. “Every player knows what to do and they did their jobs very well. There were players blocking lots of shots. It made my life more easy.”
Notes: The Blue Jackets activated G Pascal Leclaire earlier in the day. He had missed the last seven games with a sprained ankle. … The teams last met in the Coyotes’ season opener, with Phoenix winning 3-1 behind a goal and an assist by Jokinen and with Bryzgalov stopping 28 shots. … D Rostislav Klesla returned to the ice for Columbus after missing two games with a wrist injury.