Photo Credit: Norm Hall
COYOTES STARTING LINE-UP
(LW) Ladislav Nagy - (C) Yanic Perreault - (RW) Shane Doan
(D) Travis Roche - (D) Ed Jovanovski
BLUES STARTING LINE-UP
(LW) Keith Tkachuk - (C) David Backes - (RW) Lee Stempniak
(D) Eric Brewer - (D) Bryce Salvador
Phoenix - Mikael Tellqvist
St. Louis - Manny Legace
On Monday afternoon, the Phoenix Coyotes returned to their winning ways with a thrilling 5-4 shootout win over the St. Louis Blues.
During the first minute of play, the Coyotes recently reunited "OMG" line, featuring Mike Zigomanis, Oleg Saprykin and Georges Laraque, were able to generate a pair of shots on goal as Saprykin and Laraque tried to stuff the puck in at the left side of the net. Unfortunately, St. Louis netminder Manny Legace was able to close the gap at the left post and keep the puck from crossing the goal line.
Phoenix continued to attack the Blues net with a series of shots and at 2:59 of the period, would make the first mark on the scoreboard when Yanic Perreault released a nasty wrist shot from the left face-off circle that beat Legace high to the glove side for a 1-0 lead. Coyotes' forwards Ladislav Nagy and Shane Doan each recorded an assist on Perreault team-leading 15th goal of the season.
Shortly after the goal by Perreault, Saprykin had a great chance to put the Coyotes ahead by two when he grabbed a loose puck at the top of the crease and had several seconds alone in front before he released a backhand shot that slid wide of the net.
At 5:50 of the first, Phoenix defenseman Keith Ballard received the first penalty of the game when he was called for hooking. The Coyotes penalty-killing unit seemingly had no trouble holding the Blues power play without a single shot, before Ballard returned to the ice.
Beginning at 10:40 of the first, the Blues began a march to the penalty box that saw three St. Louis players, Doug Weight, Bryce Salvador and Dallas Drake, leave the ice in a span of 2:49. As a result, the Coyotes would have two five-on-three power plays.
During the Coyotes second two-man advantage, captain Shane Doan beat Legace with two slap shots form the right side, just 25-seconds apart, but both would strike the right goal post and deflect away from the net.
Then at 14:19 of the opening frame, Coyotes blueliner Ed Jovanovski unleashed a blast from the point, which Jeremy Roenick was able to tip at the top of the crease and deflect past Legace for his sixth goal of the season and a 2-0 Phoenix lead.
With 2:51 left in the first, the Blues once again found themselves shorthanded, this time courtesy of Jat McClement, who was called for interference. The Coyotes would a pair of shots, bringing their first period total to 19, as the first 20-minutes of play came to a close.
Just 1:09 into the second period, the Blue went on the power play as Coyotes forward Josh Gratton was called for hooking. Just as they had in the first period, the Phoenix penalty killers shut down the St. Louis offense, preserving the two-goal lead.
St. Louis slowly began to build up their offensive presence and at 3:36 of the second, cut the Coyotes lead in half when Christian Backman made an impressive individual effort to elude a pair of Coyotes; drive to the net and flip a wrist shots past Tellqvist on the strong side.
Just over two minutes later, the Blues would tie the score at 2-2 when Radek Dvorak raced down the left side and fired a shot through the legs of Tellqvist and into the net. Dvorak's goal wasn't the end of the play however, as the St. Louis forward lost his edge after the shot on goal and ended up crashing into Tellqvist and the left goal post. Tellqvist would quickly return to his feet, but Dvorak remained on the ice for several minutes before he was helped to his feet and returned to the bench.
At 7:44 of the period, St. Louis received another power play; this time it was defenseman Derek Morris that would be taken off the ice for holding. The blues would challenge Tellqvist and the Coyotes defense with a series of shots, but were unable to grab their first lead of game, as Phoenix returned to full strength.
The Blues had another good scoring chance with just over three minutes to play in the period when a St. Louis forward snapped a shot from the slot that was headed toward the back of the net until the big glove hand of Tellqvist snatched the shot out of the air and away from the net.
With 2:23 to play in the stanza, the Coyotes went back on the power play when Blues defenseman Dennis Wideman was assessed a minor penalty for interference. Phoenix would make the most out of the late power play as Jovanovski hammered a slap shot from the top of the right face-off circle with less than a minute in the period, that sailed over the shoulder of Legace and into the net for a 3-2 Coyotes lead. Nagy and Doan also recorded their second assists of the game on "Jovo's" 10th tally of the season.
At 4:24 of the third period, the Blues took their first penalty of the period when former Coyote Jamie Rivers was escorted to the box for hooking. Phoenix would continue to get pucks to the net, but Legace was standing his ground, turning the drives aside and keeping the Blues within striking distance.
Then with 22-seconds left on the penalty to Rivers, the Coyotes made their way to the penalty box when Doan was called for slashing. Operating with an extra attacker, the Blues crashed the Phoenix zone where they moved the puck around trying to fin open shooting lanes. Eventually, the Coyotes would be able to clear the zone as Kevyn Adams diving poke check sent the puck back into the neutral zone, allowing Phoenix to get a change before returning to full strength.
At 10:43 of the third, a scrum in front of the St. Louis bench resulted in penalties to both clubs as Owen Nolan was given two-minutes for slashing and the Blues' Doug Weight and Dennis Wideman for slashing and hooking respectively.
The Coyotes would be unable to establish much of an offensive attack during the resulting power play and just after St. Louis returned to full strength, Coyotes forward Georges Laraque was whistled for boarding after administering a hit in the Blues zone.
St. Louis, who was held quiet on their six previous power play attempts, would find the offense they were looking for on this man-advantage with Wideman blasting a shot front the point that beat Tellqvist at 13:50 of the third to tie the contest at 3-3.
Jovanovski would put the Coyotes back in the lead at 16:27 of the third when he took a feed from his defensive partner, Travis Roche and delivered a shot from the point that beat Legace for a 4-3 Phoenix lead.
During the final minutes of play, the Blues fought back trying to capture the tying goal and with 1:45 left in regulation, Tellqvist was unable to stop a shot from forward Peter Senja's, tying the game at 4-4.
The finals minute of the third would run off the clock with neither club able to capture the go-ahead-goal, resulting in overtime.
In the overtime, the Coyotes caught a break when St. Louis' Lee Srempniak was called for hooking midway through the extra session.
Phoenix wasted no time trying to cash-in on the four-on-three advantage as the set up an offensive attack deep in the Blues zone and fired shot after shot at the Blues net. The only thing standing between the Coyotesw and and overtime win was the play of Manny Legace, who continued to frustrate the Coyotes by stopping everything thrown his way.
On the lone occasion when Legace did get beat by a shot from Jovanovski, the puck bounced off the crossbar and then the back of Legace before trickling to the side of the net.
The Coyotes would outshoot the Blues 7-0 in the five-minute overtime, but still couldn't put St. Louis away, meaning the game would have to be settled by a shootout.
In the shootout, Shane Doan scored on the Coyotes third shot to even the first round at 1-1. Then following a stop by Tellqvist on the Blues fourth shooter, Ladislav Nagy was able to beat Legace by going top-shelf with a wrist shot, putting an end to the shootout and giving the Coyotes a 5-4 win.