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Phoenix - Curtis Joseph
Edmonton - Dwayne Roloson
On Tuesday night, Phoenix goaltender Curtis Joseph stopped 26-shots for his fourth shutout of the season, leading the Coyotes to a 3-0 win over the Edmonton Oilers.
Just over a minute into the game, the Oilers came close to taking the early lead when Edmonton's Marc-Antoine Pouliot snapped a shot from the left face-off circle on net. Coyotes' goaltender couldn't tell where the puck was and quickly looked back into the net before realizing that the puck was trapped in his pads.
For much of the next 10-minutes of play, the two clubs would spend a great deal of time just trying to get into a rhythm. As a result, few shots resulted in high quality scoring chances, heading into the second half of the period.
With 7:46 to play in the first, the Coyotes went on the first power play of the game as Edmonton's Danny Syvret was called for hooking. Phoenix would make the most out of the early man-advantage as Owen Nolan took a pass from Derek Morris and snapped a shot in the slot that beat netminder Dwayne Roloson over the blocker for a 1-0 lead. Captain Shane Doan recorded the secondary assist on Nolan's 15th tally of the season.
With less than a minute to play in the opening period, the Coyotes nearly added to their lead when Nolan drove hard to the net and tried to flip a pass over to Fredrik Sjostrom in the Oilers' crease. However, the play was broken up and the rush ended, shortly thereafter so did the period as Phoenix skated off the ice after 20-minutes of action with a one-goal lead.
The Oilers began the second period with a ferocious offensive attack, recording five shots in less than three minutes. However, Edmonton's offense was countered by the play of goaltender Curtis Joseph, who refused to allow the Oilers to tie the game as he turned aside everything tossed his way.
At 3:04 of the second, Phoenix forward Josh Gratton and Edmonton's Zach Stortini dropped the gloves for the first bout of the game. Gratton waited patiently until Stortini tried to get his elbow pad off at which time Gratton took full advantage of the opening, delivering a series of big blows to the his opponent before the two were eventually separated.
Just seconds later, another fight broke out in front of the Edmonton bench with defenseman Nick Boynton scrapping with Oiler captain Jason Smith. After both men were escorted to the penalty box, Smith was given an extra two-minutes for an elbow he delivered on Fredrik Sjostrom, sparking the fight with Boynton.
Once again, the Coyotes power play played the Edmonton penalty kill and at 4:34 of the second, Yanick Lehoux made a nice shot from the right side of the net to slide the puck past a diving Roloson to make it a 2-0 game. Jeff Taffe and Derek Morris recorded the assists on Lehoux's first goal of the year.
The Coyotes extended their lead to 3-0 at 8:52 of the period when a pass from Doan in the corner was taken by Steven Reinprecht and slid through the legs of Roloson for his seventh goal of the season.
With just over six-minutes to play in the stanza, forward Jeremy Roenick nearly scored his eighth goal of the year when he blasted a shot on goal. However, Roenick's drive deflected off the goal post and into the corner, where the Oilers were able to regain control and clear the zone.
The two clubs would take part in two more minor altercations over the course of the final minutes of the period, but the damage was already done as the second period came to a close with Phoenix leading Edmonton by the score of 3-0.
At 7:05 of the third, the Oilers received their first power play of the game when Phoenix forward Fredrik Sjostrom was assessed an interference call. Fortunately, the Edmonton power play never had a chance to cut into the Coyotes lead as Phoenix kept the puck out of their own zone and forced the Oilers into making a series of turnovers.
Shortly after returning to full strength, the Coyotes made another trip to the box, this time it was the captain Shane Doan serving a tripping infraction at 10:08 of the third. Just 18-seconds later, the Coyotes found themselves in real penalty trouble as Owen Nolan was facing a delayed penalty for roughing and before the whistle was blown to stop play, Boynton tapped Edmonton's Mathieu Roy with his stick, resulting in a slashing penalty.
Despite the crowded penalty box, the Coyotes were able to keep Edmonton off the scoreboard due to the play of the Phoenix defensemen and Curtis Joseph. Keith Ballard led the ay for the blueliners, absorbing a pair of shots before "Cujo" was forced to make a brilliant glove save to keep the Oilers off the scoreboard.
Over the final minutes of regulation, the Coyotes held off a final attack by Edmonton with key defensive zone clearing and saves by Joseph as the Coyotes defeated the Oilers by the score of 3-0.