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by Dave Vest / Arizona Coyotes
COLUMBUS, Ohio - Coyotes captain Shane Doan came ever so close to ending his career-long hat-trick drought Wednesday night against the Columbus Blue Jackets at Nationwide Arena.

Doan has played 897 regular-season NHL games – and 32 playoff games – and never has scored three goals in one game. Thirty times he has scored two goals in a game.

On Wednesday, he came just inches from his first hat trick. Trailing late, Columbus Head Coach Ken Hitchcock pulled goalie Steve Mason in the final moments. With just a few seconds left to play, Doan gained control of the puck in the Phoenix zone and launched it toward the empty net from beyond the red line. The puck bounced along the ice and eventually hit the right post and bounced away from the net.

“I thought, ‘Come on, this is going to bounce in because it was starting to head that way and even if it hits the post it’s going to be on edge and it’s got to go in,’” Doan told reporters with a can-you-believe-my-luck tone. “But it hit the post so flush. I don’t know. I’ve given up on thinking about it.”

Doan shrugged off the near miss but his teammates know he wants to get a hat trick someday.

“Oh, it’s bugging him,” forward Steven Reinprecht said with a smile. “It’s bugging him for sure. He likes to be a positive guy but deep down…”

He added, “Another inch to the left and he would have had it.”

To his credit, Doan has a sense of humor about his no-hat trick streak.

“It takes a lot more skill to hit the post from there than it does to actually put it in the net,” Doan said about his empty-net try on Wednesday. “… I don’t know what it is, but I think me and Petr Sykora are the last two left, so we’ll see.”

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