Skip to main content

Third-period burst leads Coyotes to surprising win

GLENDALE, Arizona (Ticker) -- In addition to playing well in

their own end, the defensemen of the Phoenix Coyotes made an

important offensive contribution on Tuesday.

Defenseman Ed Jovanovski snapped a tie early in the third period

and Enver Lisin scored twice later in the session as the Coyotes

rolled to a 6-3 victory over the Detroit Red Wings.

Derek Morris recorded a goal and an assist, fellow blue-liner

Keith Yandle also tallied and Jovanovski added an assist for

Phoenix, which has won three in a row at home and five of seven

overall.

"We feel good about ourselves, especially beating a team like

Detroit," Jovanovski said. "To battle back the way we did and

have a really good third period was crucial for our guys. In

those moments, that's when you have to rise to the occasion.

(In a) 3-3 game, the next goal is going to give you the best

advantage to win the game.

"The third period has been our best throughout the year, no

question. As the game goes on, you want to get better as a

team. But as a team, we would love to play in the first and

second periods like we do in the third."

Olli Jokinen netted a goal, captain Shane Doan notched a pair of

assists and Ilya Bryzgalov made 34 saves for the Coyotes, who

posted their first win over the Red Wings since March 7, 2006.

"We've played solid teams and we've been playing with a lot of

grit," Phoenix coach Wayne Gretzky said. "Our young guys seem

to be getting better every night, and our veteran players have

shown outstanding leadership. That, and when you get

goaltending like we're getting from Bryzgalov, you can win some

hockey games.

"A year ago, we would've found a way to lose that game 6- or

7-3. But maturity, want and the will to win has really come a

long way here."

Captain Nicklas Lidstrom netted two power-play goals and Mikael

Samuelsson also cashed in during the man advantage for Detroit,

which fell to 2-2-1 on its six-game road trip.

"We gave away too many gifts," Red Wings coach Mike Babcock

said. "We gifted like three goals, and you can't do that. ...

Five points on this road trip (so far). We would like to think

we're a better team than that. We have to play a lot better

than we did tonight to be successful."

With the contest even at 3-3 after 40 minutes, Jovanovski put

the Coyotes ahead for good at 2:06 of the third with his third

goal of the season. After receiving a pass from the bottom of

the left faceoff circle by Doan, the veteran blue-liner beat

goaltender Ty Conklin from the right circle.

"It was kind of a scramble play," Jovanovski said. "Doaner

turned up to the net and I got the perfect pass and directed it

toward the net."

Lisin doubled the advantage at 6:49, skating around defenseman

Brian Rafalski in the right circle before firing the puck past

Conklin.

"I try to do that move in practice," Lisin said. "I like that

move and wanted to do it in a game, and it worked. ... My speed

helps me a lot. It is the most important part of my game."

The 22-year-old Russian sealed the win with 1:44 remaining,

completing his second two-goal effort of the campaign with an

empty-netter.

"He is a special athlete," Gretzky said. "Here's a guy that

came over (to North America) and we knew he had incredible

talent. He had a hard time, on and off the ice. Off the ice

because of the language barrier, but he stuck it out.

"He was in San Antonio (of the American Hockey League) and could

have gone home for triple the money, but he wanted to be an NHL

player. We brought him up on the East Coast trip (in November),

and he's been nothing but tremendous for us. I know there are a

lot of fast skaters but don't know if there is a faster one than

he is."

Doan agreed with his coach, even offering a humorous comparison.

"He's an elite player," the All-Star said. "He's a little bit

like Forrest (Gump). He's pretty fast, he can make plays and

he's playing huge for us, and in every situation. You see him

out there on the penalty kill as well."

Conklin, who made 21 saves, was not pleased with his effort.

"Several guys didn't play as well as they would like to, myself

included," he said. "Disappointing going into the (All-Star)

break. ... These last two games, we took a step backwards, but

hopefully it's just a blip."

After concluding its 2-2-0 road trip with a disappointing 6-3

loss at Edmonton on Sunday, Phoenix fell behind in this one as

Samuelsson wristed a shot from the left faceoff circle that

glanced off the left goalpost and in at 9:59 of the first

period.

The Coyotes pulled even when Morris beat Conklin with a

one-timer from the top of the right circle with 4:53 to go in

the session.

Yandle gave Phoenix the lead at 4:09 of the second with a

power-play goal. After Detroit won a faceoff in the right

circle, a defender's clearing attempt landed right on the stick

of Yandle, whose slap shot from the top of the slot sailed into

the top right corner of the net.

Lidstrom forged a 2-2 tie at 7:14 with a slapper from the top of

the left circle that beat a screened Bryzgalov, but Jokinen

completed a 3-on-1 rush with a shot from the left circle with

4:41 remaining in the period, restoring Phoenix's edge.

"We've got to solidify goaltending, we've got to continue to get

better without the puck," Babcock said. "We had lots of scoring

chances, but you have to play without the puck, and we weren't

able to do that tonight."

With six seconds to go before intermission, Lidstrom again

knotted the contest, unleashing a slap shot from the left point

that deflected off the stick of Coyotes defenseman David Hale

and past Bryzgalov. It was the All-Star's 111th career

power-play goal, tying him with Brian Leetch for eighth place on

the all-time list among defensemen.

Phoenix, which had gone five straight games without yielding a

man-advantage tally, surrendered three in six shorthanded

situations against Detroit.

TOP HEADLINES

Conor Geekie
Play

Conor Geekie is the Player Every NHL Coach Wants

Mix in a big frame, great offensive numbers and a reliable two-way game and you've got a great asset in Conor Geekie. It won't be long until his name is called on draft day this July.

Brendan Gallagher

Fantasy Hockey: 10 Forwards to Avoid in 2022-23

It’s never too late to think about the upcoming fantasy season. Here's a look at 10 forwards that are expected to see a fall in their respective fantasy values for 2022-23.

USATSI_18080864

NHL Off-Season Outlook: Calgary Flames

The Calgary Flames weren't able to build upon a strong regular season in the playoffs. Now, the team's busy off-season is in full swing.