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COYOTES FALL IN VANCOUVER, 5-2

by Staff Writer / Arizona Coyotes
By: Chad Lynch

Photo Credit: Jeff Vinnick/Getty Images

STARTING GOALTENDERS
Phoenix - Mikael Tellqvist
Vancouver - Roberto Luongo

On Tuesday night, the Phoenix Coyotes concluded their two-game road trip in Vancouver as they fell to the Canucks, 5-2.

Through the first two minutes of the opening period, the Coyotes would register the only shot on goal as Patrick Fischer tried to test Canucks netminder Roberto Luongo low to the stick side. Unfortunately, Fischer's drive was turned aside, keeping the scoreless tie intact.

At 2:20 of the first, Vancouver's Yannick Tremblay (interference) and Phoenix's Dave Scatchard (diving) received matching minors. With the extra space created as a result of the four-on-four play, the Coyotes began to increase their offensive pressure, taking a 5-1 lead in shots on goal, but still searching for the first goal of the game.

The Canucks would continue to absorb the Coyotes attack until a turnover sent Vancouver on the attack. Canucks' forward Matt Cooke carried the puck into the Phoenix zone where he sent a wrist shot at the net. Coyotes' goaltender Mikael Tellqvist made the initial save, but Brendan Morrison was on the doorstep and would take two swings at the puck before putting it past Tellqvist and into the net for a 1-0 lead.

Just over two minutes later, Vancouver made it a 2-0 game when Ryan Kesler dropped a pass to Kevin Bieksa in the left face-off circle where Bieksa snapped a wrist shot that just cleared the outstretched blocker of Tellqvist and found the back of the net for his sixth goal of the season.

The Coyotes continued to play on their heels and the Canucks would take advantage as former Coyote Jan Bulis received a centering pass form Daniel Sedin at the right side of the net, where he tipped the puck past the stick of Tellqvist for a 3-0 Vancouver lead.

At 17:30 of the first, the Canucks received the first power play of the game when Phoenix defenseman Keith Ballard was sent to the box for hooking Vancouver's Markus Naslund as he drove to the Coyotes goal. 20-seconds into the penalty to Ballard, the Canucks capitalized on the man advantage with defenseman Mattias Ohlund firing a wrist shot from the slot through a unintentional screen by Mike Zigomanis and under the arm of Tellqvist, extending Vancouver's lead to 4-0.

In the final minutes of the opening period, Coyotes forward Owen Nolan nearly cut into the Vancouver lead when he blasted a shot off a wrap-around attempt; but Luongo was in position at the top of the crease to make the stop and preserve the Canucks four goal lead as the first period of play came to an end.

The Coyotes began the second period by making a change in net as Curtis Joseph was brought in to replace Mikael Tellqvist.

Phoenix would get their first chance on the man-advantage of the evening at 1:21 of the first when Vancouver's Matt Cooke was assed a minor penalty for hooking. The Coyotes would be able to generate a pair of shots on net while operating on the power play, but neither would find a way past Luongo.

Near the five-minute mark of the second, Joseph made an acrobatic save on a shot form the right side of the net when he rolled over on his back and stopped the puck with his left arm to keep the Canucks from adding to their lead.

At 6:14 of the second, Vancouver would score their fifth goal of the contest when Kevin Bieksa's snap shot from just inside the blueline was deflected in front of Joseph by Ryan Kesler and sent into the Phoenix net.

The Coyotes continued to battle and at 9:14 of the stanza, their pressure would pay off when Phoenix crashed the net, causing Luongo to make a series of stops before falling on his back and leaving the puck uncovered in the crease; where Oleg Saprykin would lift it over the Canucks netminder to make it a 5-1 game.

Vancouver would get their second power play of the night at 14:13 of the period when defenseman Ed Jovanovski was called for slashing. The Coyotes penalty-killing unit executed their plan to perfection as they stalled the Canucks attack with fierce pressure and timely clearings.

Phoenix would take another penalty with 1:12 to play in the second as Patrick Fischer headed off the ice for high-sticking. The Coyotes would kill easily kill off the first 72-seconds of the infraction before the period came to an end.

The final period of play began with the Coyotes making their second goaltending change of the night as Tellqvist returned to the game in place of Curtis Joseph.

At the five-minute mark of the third, Yanic Perreault tried to give the Coyotes their second goal of the game when he unleashed a rocket of a slap shot from the top of the right face-off circle. Unfortunately, Luongo was again in position at the top of his crease to make the glove save and hold on for a stoppage in play.

As the third period continued, Phoenix appeared to get stronger offensively, sending more shots to the net and forcing Luongo to raise his level of play to match their own.

With just under nine minutes to play, Dave Scatchard ripped a wrist shot from the left side in an attempt to catch Luongo moving across the crease, but the Canucks goalie just beat the shot to the side of the net and made the stop, again covering the puck until the officials stopped play.

Canucks forward Tyler Bouck nearly had a breakaway with just over four minutes to play, but Tellqvist made a gutsy play to skate out to the top of the slot where he knocked the puck away from the path of Bouck to prevent a scoring opportunity.

With 37 seconds left in the game, Coyotes forward Mike Comrie made a long pass from his own zone to a streaking Scatchard, who caught the puck at the Vancouver blueline, raced in and fired a low shot past Luongo to make it a 5-2 contest.

Following Scatchard's 3rd goal of the season, the final seconds of the game would tick off the clock as the Canucks held on for 5-2 victory over the Phoenix Coyotes.

NEWS & NOTES
After appearing in relief of Mikael Tellqvist, Goaltender Curtis Joseph left the game after the conclusion of the second period with a minor leg injury. The injury is not considered serious and Joseph will be re- eval uate on Wednesday by the Coyotes medical staff.

Phoenix forward Patrick Fischer suffered a groin injury and left Tuesday's game early in the third period. Fisher is currently listed as day-to-day.

Coyotes center Jeremy Roenick was a late scratch for Tuesday's contest in Vancouver due to back spasms. Roenick will be re- eval uated on Wednesday.

Center Mike Ricci was a healthy scratch for Tuesday night's game against the Canucks.

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