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Avalanche-Coyotes Game Recap
By Sergey Kocharov
On Wednesday, the Coyotes dropped a 3-1 decision at the hands of the Colorado Avalanche. While the Coyotes did a fairly good job containing Colorado forwards Joe Sakic and Milan Hejduk, in the end it was Marek Svatos who would lead the Avalanche to victory.
Svatos entered Wednesday's game with seven goals on the season and he continued to find ways to score at the most opportune times for the Colorado on Wednesday night.
Svatos scored twice, including the winning goal, and Pierre Turgeon recorded assists on all three Colorado goals, as the Avalanche won the first meeting of the season between the two clubs.
Svatos broke a 1-1 tie early in the third period when he pounced on a rebound to score his second goal of the game and fourth game-winning goal to lead all rookies this season.
"It was a great play by (Andrew) Brunette and Turgeon," said Svatos, who leads the team with nine goals. "I just tried crashing the net and scored an easy goal. The good thing is that I am scoring goals, whether they are game-winning goals or not. It's just a matter of being in the right spot at the right moment."
Phoenix goaltender Curtis Joseph made 30 saves for the Coyotes, who were out-shot 25-13 in the final two periods.
"We have a good game or two good games and I think we lose the respect for the opposition to come out and play a good second period," said Coyotes Head Coach Wayne Gretzky. "We've got to realize that when you play against other teams, their guys are good players and they have a lot of pride. We have to understand that they are going to get better."
And they did.
Colorado extended their lead to 3-1 on a 5-on-3 power play as Rob Blake unleashed a rising slap shot past Joseph. The goal gave Blake his 600th career NHL point, which makes him the fifth active NHL defenseman to accomplish the feat.
"When you play the amount of games and keep doing the right things, those milestones come at the end of your career," said Blake. "And that's exciting, especially when we're winning."
After playing a strong first period, the Coyotes took a 1-0 lead into the intermission on Mike Johnson's fourth goal of the season. Working behind the net on the power play Ladislav Nagy connected with Johnson, who beat Colorado's goaltender Peter Budaj with a quick wrist shot.
"We managed to get the lead and that's we want to do in the first period," said Johnson, who played in his 500th NHL game. "In the second period, we started turning the puck over and playing too much in our own end. This is a bit of a broken record and we do it too often."
Colorado evened the score on Svatos' first goal of the game with 5:46 remaining in the second period. After Turgeon's blast from the point hit the post, Svatos tapped home the rebound in a period, which Colorado out shot Phoenix 13-6.
"We keep turning the puck over in the neutral zone and keep giving them second and third opportunities," said Shane Doan. "We turned the puck over at the blue line and they capitalized on their opportunities. We didn't capitalize on ours."
Coyotes defenseman Denis Gauthier appeared in his first game since missing the last 14 contests with a fractured finger suffered on Oct. 15 versus the Detroit Red Wings.
LUNDMARK BACK WITH COYOTES
Center Jamie Lundmark was back in the lineup tonight after playing the last four games with the San Antonio Rampage, the Coyotes' top AHL affiliate. In four games with the Rampage, Lundmark collected one goal, two assists and two penalty minutes. The Coyotes acquired Lundmark on Oct. 18 from the Rangers in exchange for center Jeff Taffe.
To make room for Lundmark, Phoenix reassigned center Yanick Lehoux (conditioning) and left wing Steve Gainey to San Antonio.
On Thursday, November 17, 2005, the Phoenix Coyotes will be making two public appearances in the Valley.
The first appearance will take place at a Bud Light Player Party being held at Santisi Brothers restaurant. Coyotes defenseman Keith Ballard and forward Fredrik Sjostrom will be on hand from 5:00 - 6:00 p.m. signing autographs and meeting fans. Santisi Brothers is located at 2710 W. Bell Road in Phoenix.
The second appearance on Thursday will take place at Right Toyota in Scottsdale. Coyote forward Mike Johnson will be there from 6:00 - 7:00 p.m. to sign autographs and meet fans. Right Toyota is located at 7701 E. Frank Lloyd Wright Blvd. in Scottsdale.
Stay tuned to phoenixcoyotes.com for information on next week's public player appearances.
The Coyotes will be off for the next two nights before traveling to San Jose to face off against the Sharks at 8:30 p.m. on Saturday night. Saturday's game can be seen on WB6 or heard on KDUS-1060 AM, KDKB-93.3 FM or by clicking the "Listen Live" link on the Game Day page at phoenixcoyotes.com.
NEXT HOME GAME
Phoenix will return to Glendale Arena on Sunday to play the Columbus Blue Jackets at 6:00 p.m. The first 10,000 fans at Sunday's gmae receive a free Coyotes mini-helmet. The Coyotes are also offering a kids deal for Sunday's game. Buy one adult ticket for $25.00 and receive a kids ticket for FREE (offer good at Glendale Arena or by calling 480.563.PUCK).