(Photo Credit: Minnesota Wild)
On Tuesday night, the Phoenix Coyotes concluded their three game road trip with a victory over the Minnesota Wild at the Xcel Energy Center.
In the first period, the Coyotes looked unstoppable as they jumped out to a 3-0 lead. The first goal came just 65 seconds into the contest as rookie Yanick Lehoux blasted a slap shot form the left face-off circle, past Minnesota goaltender Dwayne Roloson for the 1-0 lead. The goal was not only Lehoux's first as a Coyote, but his first in the NHL. Even more impressive was the fact that it came in his first game, on his first shot.
Then at 11:54 of the period, forward Mike Leclerc registered his team-leading eighth goal of the season when he flipped a loose puck at the top of the crease past Roloson for a 2-0 lead. Defenseman Keith Ballard recorded his second assist of the game on Leclerc's goal.
Less than two minutes later at 13:31 of the first, Ladislav Nagy crossed into the Wild's zone, dropped a pass for Mike Johnson who then fed a pass to Mike Comrie at the front of the net. From there, Comrie slid the puck past Roloson for a three goal first period lead.
The Wild needed to shake things up and Minnesota Head Coach Jaques Lemaire did that at the start of the second period when he replaced Dwayne Roloson in net with Manny Fernandez.
In the second period, the Wild cut the Coyotes lead to 3-1 when Daniel Tjanrqvist's slat shot from the point, beat Coyotes netminder Curtis Joseph high over the glove hand at 4:51 of the second frame.
Later in the period, it appeared that the Wild had cut the lead to one when a puck fell behind Joseph and landed near the goal line. Joseph quickly pulled the puck back, but the on-ice official near the net called the play a goal. Joseph immediately argued that he had grabbed the puck before it had crossed the goal line. The officials went upstairs and after a brief review, the play was ruled no-goal, as it was apparent that Joseph had indeed got to the puck before it entered the net.
In the third period, the Coyotes found themselves on the wrong end of a bad bounce. A bounce that would shrink the Phoenix lead to a single goal. While killing a penalty to Wes Walz, Minnesota defenseman Filip Kuba cleared the puck from his zone by flipping it high above the ice and down into the Coyotes zone. As Joseph tried to stop the bouncing puck, it took a late bounce and went through his legs, making it a 3-2 contest at that point.
For much of the third period, the Wild attacked the Coyotes net with ferocity unseen earlier in the game. But much like he had been in Detroit three nights before, Joseph an unbreakable force in the Coyotes net as he turned aside shots form all angles and ranges to keep Phoenix on top.
Finally, late in the third period, the Coyotes fought back and established their own offensive rush as they went on the offensive, trying to increase their lead to two goals, rather than hoping to win by one. Shortly after the recommitment to offense, Phoenix was rewarded, as Mike Johnson was able to create some room to skate into the Wild zone along the left hand boards. As the Minnesota defense closed in on Johnson, he fed a pass over to Comrie at the mouth of the goal. Comrie tipped it into the net for his second goal of the game and sixth of the season as the Coyotes cruised to a 4-2 victory after that point.
NEXT HOME GAME
The next Phoenix Coyotes home game will take place on Thursday Nov. 10 when the Coyotes host the Calgary Flames at Glendale Arena. Thursday's game can be seen on FSN Arizona or heard on KDUS-1060 AM and KDKB-93.3 FM. You can also listen to all the action on phoenixcoyotes.com by clicking on the "Listen Live" link in the Game Coverage section.
Thursday night's game will also be a "Bud Light Friends Night Out" game. Purchase 2 tickets, 2 orders of buffalo chicken strips and 2 16-ounce beers or sodas for only $50.00, or upgrade to lower level seats for only $100.00.
To purchase a "Bud Light Friends Night Out" pack for Thursday's game, click here.
To purchase individual tickets for Thursday's game, click here.