Photo Credit: Norm Hall
COYOTES STARTING LINE-UP
(LW) Owen Nolan - (C) Jeremy Roenick - (RW) Shane Doan
(D) Matt Jones - (D) Derek Morris
CANUCKS STARTING LINE-UP
(LW) Jeff Cowan - (C) Tommi Santala - (RW) Alex Burrows
(D) Mathias Ohlund - (D) Rory Fitzpatrick
Phoenix - Curtis Joseph
Vancouver - Dany Sabourin
On Sunday afternoon, the Phoenix Coyotes concluded their 2006-07 season in victorious fashion, defeating the Vancouver Canucks by the final score of 3-1.
Just 72-seconds into the opening period, the Coyotes' penalty-killing unit was put to the test as defenseman Nick Boynton was given a minor penalty for hooking. Before Boynton could make his way to the penalty box, he was handed another penalty, this time for unsportsmanlike conduct, resulting in a four-minute power play for Vancouver.
During the ensuing Canucks power play, Phoenix was able to hold their ground and limit the quality chances given to Vancouver. As a result, the Canucks were limited to five shots on goal and were unable to get the puck past goaltender Curtis Joseph.
At 5:45 of the first, the Coyotes took the first lead of the game when forward Bill Thomas, who was camped at the right side of the net, took a feed from Steven Reinprecht and snapped it past netminder Dany Sabourin for his eighth goal of the season and a 1-0 Phoenix lead.
The Canucks would even the score at 1-1 midway through the first when Alexandre Burrows made a great play to spilt the Coyotes defense, get around Boynton and left a backhand into the Phoenix net for his third tally on the year.
However, the game wouldn't remain tied for long as the Canucks were trying to kill off a hooking penalty to Henrik Sedin, defenseman Derek Morris unleashed a monster slap shot from the point that beat Sabourin to give the Coyotes back the lead at 2-1. Forwards Owen Nolan and Jeremy Roenick recorded their 24th and 17th assists respectively on Morris' power play goal.
Shortly after the go-ahead goal by Morris, Coyotes forward Daniel Carcillo received a pair of minor penalties (elbowing, unsportsmanlike conduct), giving Vancouver their second extended power play of the period. But just as they had done earlier in the game, Phoenix was able to keep the pressure off Joseph and clear the zone when needed to return to full strength still holding a one-goal lead.
Neither club would find the back of the net again in the first period and the Coyotes headed off the ice after 20-minutes of play with a 2-1 lead.
Phoenix would receive two power plays during the first half of the second period with Vancouver's Rory Fitzpatrick (hooking) and Bryan Smolinski (interference) visiting the penalty box. Despite the opportunities created on the man-advantage, the Coyotes were unable to add to their lead.
With just under six minutes to play in the period, both clubs came within inches of adding to their scoring totals as the Canucks and Coyotes traded shots off the crossbar. In both instances, the puck defected into the corner and away from the net.
In the final seconds of the period, Vancouver's Taylor Pyatt had a great opportunity alone, at the top of the crease but was denied by the quick blocker of "Cujo", keeping the Coyotes ahead by one heading into the final period of play.
Early in the final period, the Coyotes had another quality scoring chance when Daniel Carcillo stole the puck in the neutral zone, raced into the Canucks' end and fired a shot that sailed just over the crossbar, keeping the Phoenix lead at one.
At 3:17 of the third, the Coyotes and Canucks received matching minors as Derek Morris (interference) and Alexandre Burrows (unsportsmanlike conduct) made their way to the box. The open ice created by the four-on-four play resulted in a series of offensive rushes, but was unable to produce any further scoring.
With 1:16 to play in the third, Vancouver found themselves shorthanded as Brendan Morrison was assessed a hooking penalty. Shortly after play resumed, the Canucks tried to offset the penalty by pulling Sabourin from the net in favor of an extra attacker.
Then with 22-seconds left on the clock, Coyotes forward Jeremy Roenick fired the puck into the empty net, putting Phoenix ahead by the score of 3-1. Shane Doan and Derek Morris recorded their first assists of the night on Roenick's 11th tally of the year.
Following Roenick's goal, the Coyotes called their lone timeout and sent Mikael Tellqvist into the game for Curtis Joseph. The fans took the opportunity to stand and applaud the season's efforts by both Roenick and Joseph.
Once play resumed, the final seconds of play slipped off the clock and the final buzzer of the season sounded, marking a 3-1 win for the Coyotes over the Canucks.