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COYOTES DEFEAT BLUE JACKETS, 5-4 IN SHOOTOUT

by Staff Writer / Arizona Coyotes
By: Chad Lynch

Photo Credit: Norm Hall

COYOTES STARTING LINE-UP
(LW) Fredrik Sjostrom - (C) Yanic Perreault - (RW) Shane Doan
(D) Keith Ballard - (D) Derek Morris

BLUE JACKETS STARTING LINE-UP
(LW) Rick Nash - (C) Sergei Fedorov - (RW) Fredrik Modin
(D) Anders Eriksson - (D) Rostislav Klesla

STARTING GOALTENDERS
Phoenix - Mikael Tellqvist
Columbus - Fredrik Norrena

 

On Thursday night, the Phoenix Coyotes showed a penchant for the dramatic as Mike Comrie scored the game-winner in the third round of a shootout to defeat the Columbus Blue Jacket, 5-4.

Shortly after the opening face-off, the Blue Jackets were able to gain control of the puck in the Coyotes zone and cycle the puck down near the goal. When Columbus forward Dan Fritsche grabbed the puck at the top of the crease, he quickly found himself cloaked by a Phoenix defender, however, he was able to slide a pass over to Anson Carter at the left side of the net. Carter was stopped by goaltender Mikael Tellqvist on his first shot, but he was able to capture his own rebound and slide a second effort into the Coyotes net at 1:04 of the opening period, giving the Blue Jackets a 1-0 lead.

Immediately after the goal by Carter, Phoenix's Georges Laraque and Oleg Saprykin broke into the Columbus zone on a two-on-one rush. Once the Blue Jackets defender cut off any passing lanes to Saprykin, Laraque quickly snapped a shot on net that was smothered by Columbus netminder Fredrik Norrena.

The Coyotes continued to apple pressure in the offensive zone and at 2:04 of the period, defenseman Derek Morris unleashed a monster slap shot from the point that flew through a screen and past Norrena to tie the game at 1-1.

Phoenix would have a chance to take their first lead of the night at 4:15 of the period as Columbus was assessed a bench minor for too-many men on the ice. The Coyotes power play unit would repeatedly bring the puck into the offensive zone, but the Blue Jackets were able to stall the Phoenix attack long enough for the penalty to expire.

Mid-way through the first, the Coyotes went back on the man-advantage when Blue Jackets defenseman Ron Hainsey was called for holding. Just seconds into the Hainsey penalty, Derek Morris nearly scored his second goal of the game when his drive from the right point beat Norrena and ricocheted off the left goal post and out of the crease. During the next stoppage in play, the on-ice official called the video goal judge to review Morris' shot, but it was ruled that the puck never crossed the goal line, keeping the score knotted at 1-1.

Columbus would try to regain the lead late in the period, but Tellqvist easily turned aside everything that came his way as the first period of play came to an end with the Coyotes and Blue Jackets tied at one.

Just 28-seconds into the second period, the Blue Jackets went on the power play when defenseman Matt Jones was whistled for tripping. While the Blue Jackets had the extra attacker, it would be the Coyotes who found the back of the net as a clearing pass form the Phoenix zone connected with a charging Owen Nolan in the neutral zone. Nolan entered the zone and at the top of the left face-off circle fired a slap shot that beat Norrena high to the glove side for a 2-1 Coyotes lead. Blueliners Zbynek Michalek and Ed Jovanovski assisted on Nolan's seventh goal of the season.

At the five-minute mark of the second, Phoenix nearly took a two-goal lead when Keith Ballard's shot from the right face-off circle bounced off the left goal post. Unfortunately, the Blue Jackets grabbed the loose puck and headed up ice where forward Rick Nash carried the puck into the offensive zone. Once inside the Phoenix end, Nash made his way around a pair of Coyotes and cutting back to the net where he slid the puck past Tellqvist for his tenth goal of the season, tying the game at 2-2.

The Coyotes refused to let the Blue Jackets build on the momentum of Nash's goal as they brought the play back into the Columbus zone where a loose puck at the side of the net forced Blue Jackets forward Nikolai Zherdev into hooking Mike Zigomanis to the ice at 7:48 of the period. As a result, the Coyotes went back on the power play.

The ensuing two-minute power play would last just 30-seconds as Ladislav Nagy released a wrist shot from the slot that hit the crossbar and fell to the ice, where Mike Comrie swooped in from the left side and tapped a rebound past Norrena, putting Phoenix back on top by the score of 3-2.

Columbus would make their seventh trip to the penalty box on the night at 12:03 of the stanza with Anders Eriksson leaving the ice for tripping. Once again, the Blue Jackets penalty-killing unit proved to be no match for the Coyotes power play. Phoenix threw a series of shots at the net and when Norrena kicked a dangerous rebound into the slot, Jovanovski took advantage by spinning around and firing a shot past Norrena for a 4-2 Coyotes lead.

At 16:14 of the second, Columbus' Dan Fritsche caught Zbynek Michalek with a shoulder in front of the Blue Jackets bench brawl ensued and when things were finally settled, Columbus' Ole-Kristian Tollefson was helped off the ice and escorted to the locker room to attend to facial injuries, but not before receiving a minor penalty for roughing.

However, the Blue Jacket's would take advantage of the open ice with a shorthanded goal of their own at 17:10 of the second period when Sergei Fedorov jumped on a loose puck in the neutral zone. He then raced in on a breakaway before beating Tellqvist low to the strong side to pull Columbus to within one.

Then with just 1:05 left in the period, Rick Nash worked a puck loose form the right hand boards in the Phoenix zone and sent a pass to Davis Vyborny, who one-timed a shot past Tellqvist to tie the game at 4-4.

At 2:52 of the third period, Phoenix went back on the power play when Rick Nash caught Oleg Saprykin with a high stick in the offensive zone. However, it was Columbus who would have the best scoring chance while Nash was in the box when Tellqvist made an unbelievable save with his right toe on a shot from the slot to keep the game tied at 4-4.

Columbus would their turn on the man-advantage at 8:08 of the period when Saprykin was called for tripping. The Coyotes penalty killers would do a good job of bending without breaking as they countered the Blue Jackets offensive attack with sound defensive play and timely clearings to keep Columbus from breaking the 4-4 tie.

Both clubs throw everything they had at the net during the remainder of the third period, but both Mikael Tellqvist and Fredrik Norrena shut the door as the regulation came to a close with the score still tied.

OVERTIME
In the extra session, the Coyotes found themselves back on their heels for much of the five minutes. Columbus took control of the tempo of play as they controlled the puck in the offensive zone. But to their credit, the Coyotes defense did an excellent job of keeping the puck cycling around the perimeter and away from the net. When the Blue Jackets did take shots, a wall of Coyotes defenders greeted them, keeping the puck away from Tellqvist.

SHOOTOUT
After Five consecutive stops by Tellqvist and Norrena, Coyotes forward Mike Comrie ended the shootout when his shot somehow trickled through the legs of Norrena and into the net, to give Phoenix a 5-4 win over the Blue Jackets. For a complete recap of the shootout, see below.

Round 1
David Vyborny - No goal
Yanic Perreault - No goal

Round 2
Rick Nash- No goal
Mike Zigomanis - No goal

Round 3
Sergei Fedorov - No goal
Mike Comrie - Goal

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