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Coyotes nip B’s in overtime, 2-1

by Jeremy Lemoine / Boston Bruins
Boston, MA - Hannu Toivonen was solid in the Bruins net Sunday evening, stopping 30 of 32 shots, but the Phoenix Coyotes nipped Boston 2-1 in overtime at the TD Banknorth Garden. Toivonen caged the Coyotes offense until Ladislav Nagy scored the game winner 30 seconds into the extra period on a wrist shot that deflected off of David Tanabe's skate.

"I think we've got to find a way to play with more energy, that up-tempo game we're trying to play," said Coach Mike Sullivan. "We had it in spurts, but when we lose momentum, it seems to affect our mindset. Once again, we also need to find a way to stay out of the penalty box.

"Hannu gave us a chance to win tonight. He was real good. I thought he made some key saves at critical times that kept us in the game."

The Bruins didn't waste anytime getting on the board against the Coyotes. Just 2:29 in, Brian Leetch scored a power play goal to give the Bruins a 1-0 lead. Marco Sturm made a pass down low to Patrice Bergeron. Bergeron circled the net and slid a pass in front to Leetch, who one timed it in for his fourth goal of the season.

With 12:00 remaining in the first, Phoenix was able to get the puck past Hannu Toivonen, but the goal was disallowed when it was ruled that ex-Bruin Dave Scatchard interfered with Toivonen.

Both teams skated to a scoreless tie in the second period, leaving the score 1-0 in favor of the Bruins to start the third. Hannu Toivonen was superb in net, stopping all of Phoenix's 15 shots in the middle period.

"It's disappointing to lose a game that, once again, we had in hand," said Toivonen. "We should have won. We definitely played better tonight than in Colorado, and we got a point, so that's a positive. There's nothing we can do about it now. We just have to go back to practice tomorrow and keep working hard."

With Eric Nickulas whistled off for interference, the Coyotes knotted the game at 1-1 just 1:06 into the third period. Mike Johnson was able to collect a loose puck in front and stuff it past Toivonen for his tenth of the year. Boston's best scoring chance came nine minutes into the third when Brian Leetch beat Curtis Joseph, but hit the right goal post.

In overtime, Ladislav Nagy scored his 12th goal of the season to give the Coyotes the 2-1 win. Nagy skated strong through the neutral zone and fired a low wrist shot that redirected off of David Tanabe's skate and surprised Toivonen.

"(Nagy) is a natural goal scorer," said defenseman David Tanabe, a former Phoenix Coyote. "When he starts skating, he has good speed, and he moves and comes off the cycle very well. He has the ability to shoot the puck very well and you can't teach that.

"I think first off, we need to take our hat off to Hannu," continued Tanabe. "I think our goaltender played exceptional tonight. He kept us in the game all night long and he made some huge saves. We've needed great goaltending like that. This game could have gone either way in that overtime. They just so happened to get a lucky break and get that goal. That's the four-on-four situations, it can go either way."
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