Photo Credit: Norm Hall
COYOTES STARTING LINEUP
(LW) Oleg Saprykin - (C) Dave Scatchard - (RW) Patrick Fischer
(D) Zbynek Michalek - (D) Dennis Seidenberg
Phoenix - David LeNeveu
Edmonton - Jussi Markkanen
On Thursday night, the Phoenix Coyotes returned to their winning ways as they posted an impressive 6-2 win over the Edmonton Oilers.
It would take a little over two minutes for either club to register a shot on net, but the Oilers finally managed to get a pair of pucks through to the Coyotes net at 2:05 into the period. However, Phoenix goaltender David LeNeveu, who was making his first start of the season, was in position and easily made the saves to keep the game scoreless.
The Coyotes would receive the first power play of the game when Oiler forward Marty Reasoner was called for hooking at 3:24 of the first. Phoenix immediately went to work trying to get pressure on the Edmonton net and with 16-seconds remaining in the Coyotes power play, when Mike Comrie's cross-ice pass was one-timed by Zbynek Michalek, past Oilers netminder Jussi Markkanen for a 1-0 lead.
Moments after Michalek's goal, the Oilers had a pair of great scoring chances when Ales Hemsky has two partial breakaways inside of 30-seconds. But once again, LeNeveu was in perfect position as he waited for Hemsky to make a move, allowing him make the save and keep the Coyotes ahead by one.
Edmonton refused to lighten their offensive pressure and it would pay off at 6:29 of the first when Fernando Pisani raced down the right hand boards and fired a shot from a sharp angle that somehow found its way past LeNeveu and into the net Phoenix net to tie the game at 1-1.
Oleg Saprykin came within inches of regaining the lead for the Coyotes when his shot from the right face-off circle caught Markkanen out of position, forcing the Oilers goalie to make a diving save at the side of the net.
Phoenix would get their second power play of the period when Edmonton's Shawn Horcoff was sent to the box for hooking at 9:12. Once again the Coyotes would take full advantage of the extra attacker and re-take the lead at 11:07 of the first when Ladislav Nagy fired a wrist shot from the left side that beat Markkanen high to the glove side, to make it a 2-1 game. Defenseman Ed Jovanovski and Center Jeremy Roenick would each record an assist on Nagy's third goal of the season.
The Coyotes would extend their lead to 3-1 with 5:16 to play in the first when Fredrick Sjostrom won a face-off in the Oilers zone which was followed by Patrick Fischer sending a shot on net; after Markkanen kicked out the rebound, Saprykin crashed the net and flipped the puck into the net, putting Phoenix on top by two.
Phoenix would try to add to their lead late in the period with a sustained attack in the Oiler zone, but time would run out on the Coyotes and both clubs would head to the locker room after 20-minutes of play with Phoenix leading 3-1.
The Coyotes dominated play at the start of the second period as they kept the puck and the pressure, inside the Edmonton zone. After continually outworking the Oilers along the board and behind the net, Phoenix was rewarded at 2:56 of the period when Georges Laraque grabbed the puck at the left side of the net, made way to the top of the crease and sent a backhand shot over the glove of Markkanen to make it a 4-1 game.
After allowing his fourth goal in nearly 23 minutes of action, Jussi Markkanen was pulled from the net and replaced by Dwayne Roloson.
LeNeveu continued his strong play when he made a great stop on a one-timer from Shawn Horcoff at the top of the right face-off circle with just over four minutes gone in the second.
At 11:20 of the first, the Coyotes took their first penalty of the game when Jeremy Roenick was called for hooking. The Oilers registered a pair of power play shots early in the man-advantage, but the Coyotes quickly began to take over the tempo of play and nearly extended their lead when Enver Lisin used his speed to take the puck behind the Edmonton goal and attempt a wrap-around. Lisin was able to pull Roloson out of position, but missed converting on the wrap-around by a matter of inches as the Coyotes continued to hold a 4-1 lead.
The offensive display being put on by the Coyotes would continue later in the second when Owen Nolan's shot from the left face-off dot, beat Roloson over his left shoulder, putting Phoenix on top by the score of 5-1. Mike Comrie recorded the only assist on Nolan's third goal of the season.
The final minutes of the period would slip off the clock without further scoring from the Coyotes as both teams headed off the ice after two period of play with Phoenix leading by four.
Early in the third period, the physical play began to intensify as a huge scuffle ensued behind the Oilers net. The highlights of the altercation came when defenseman Derek Morris pulled Edmonton's Marty Reasoner into a one-on-one battle and landed nearly every right hand he threw. The end result of the collective effort was a two-minute minor to defenseman Nick Boynton, which the Coyotes would kill off with little resistance.
Coyotes rookie Enver Lisin would capture his first penalty of the night at 2:14 of the period when he was involved in a minor tussle and received an extra two minutes cross-checking.
The ensuing Edmonton power play was completely controlled by the Oilers as they moved the puck around the Coyotes zone and continually sent shots on goal. The heavy pressure would lead to Edmonton's second goal of the game at 3:39 of the third when Petr Sykora tapped in a loose puck at the left side of the net, cutting the Phoenix lead to 5-2.
However, the Coyotes would roar back and re-establish a four-goal lead at 10:38 of the third when forward Donald MacLean, who was playing in his first game of the season, pounced on a loose puck at the left side of the Edmonton net and slammed it past the left leg of Roloson for a 6-2 lead. Owen Nolan recorded his second point of the night and Mike Comrie was credited with his third helper as both assisted on MacLean's first goal of the year.
The remainder of the game would see the two clubs come together is a couple small altercations, but the Coyotes were able to keep their composure and start a new winning streak as they defeated the Oilers by the score of 6-2.