Vancouver at Phoenix Game Recap
By: Sergey Kocharov
Photos by Norm Hall
The Phoenix Coyotes out-shot, out-chanced and outplayed the Vancouver Canucks on Tuesday night and still found themselves on the wrong side of the scoreboard.
Henrik Sedin scored a goal and recorded two assists while goaltender Alex Auld made 42 saves, as the Canucks escaped with a 7-4 victory in the season-series finale.
"We played hard again tonight and didn't get a win," said Coyotes Head Coach Wayne Gretzky. "We created a lot of scoring chances, we just got behind and could never catch up but it wasn't from a lack off effort."
Dave Scatchard, Shane Doan, Mike Comrie and Mike Ricci all scored for the Coyotes, who dropped to 1-1-1 on the franchise-longest 10-game homestand.
"We were ready to go and (the result) is disappointing," said Doan. "But we have to be ready. We have important games coming up and we must take care of business at home."
After trailing 4-1 in the second period -- in which Phoenix out-shot Vancouver 23-6 -- the Coyotes appeared to be within striking distance when Doan and Comrie connected just 1:59 apart. Doan made it 4-2 on a two-man advantage by firing the puck past Auld with 5:36 left while Comrie capitalized on the rebound to score his team-leading 18th marker of the season.
But after Comrie was called for a hooking penalty in the offensive zone, the Canucks struck on the power play as Mattias Ohlund drove a shot past Curtis Joseph. With 1:31 left in the period, Ohlund fired a slap-shot from the blue line which deflected of Fredrik Sjostrom's stick and beat Joseph to the glove-side.
"That (penalty) definitely changed the momentum of the game," said Gretzky, who pulled Joseph at the end of the second period in favor of Brian Boucher.
Joseph surrendered five goals on 19 shots, three of which were deflected by the Coyotes' players.
"We got the momentum back then they got deflected in off of our guy and when that happens, it's tough," said Doan.
"We showed signs at getting back into games," said Geoff Sanderson, echoing Doan. "But every time we would show signs, they would put an end to it and get another goal and put it out of reach."
Vancouver quickly jumped to a 6-3 lead in the third period when Markus Naslund beat Boucher with a wrist-shot from the left circle. Ricci scored on the power play to bring Phoenix back within two, but with 27 seconds left Todd Bertuzzi capped the scoring with an empty netter.
"Our goalie won the game for us in the second period," said Vancouver Head Coach Marc Crawford. "We have to be better than we were today."
While Geoff Sanderson returned to the lineup after missing two games with a sprained pelvic ligament, forward Ladislav Nagy did not play for the Coyotes. Nagy, who leads the team with 56 points, is out with a knee injury. Steve Gainey was listed as a healthy scratch.
Vancouver's Richard Park, Matt Cooke, Wade Brookbank and Ed Jovanovski did not dress for the Canucks.
Ladislav Nagy visited a doctor on Tuesday and is scheduled to travel to Aspen, Colorado on Wednesday to obtain a second opinion on his knee. He is currently listed as day-to-day.
Denis Gauthier left Tuesday's contest in the third period after he injured his left shoulder. Gauthier will be eval uated by the Coyotes medical staff on Wednesday. He is currently listed as day-to-day.
The Coyotes will return to Glendale Arena on Thursday night to face off against the Pacific Division rival Los Angeles Kings. The game time is set for 7:00 p.m. and will be a radio-only broadcast available on KDUS-1060AM, KDKB-93.3FM and on phoenixcoyotes.com by clicking on the "Listen Live" link in the Game Day section.