GLENDALE – The Coyotes have been playing without Shane Doan for the past few games. It’s a significant disadvantage because Doan, who is out due to illness, not only is the team captain but he’s also its leading goal scorer through the first two-plus months of the season.
Doan’s teammates have picked up the scoring slack in recent games.
In Tuesday’s win at Colorado, forward Antoine Vermette led the way by scoring twice in a 3-1 win.
On Thursday, forwards Mikkel Boedker and Rob Klinkhammer took their turns leading the offense. Each scored twice in Phoenix’s 6-3 win over the New York Islanders at Jobing.com Arena.
“Not one or two guys can fill his spot,” said Klinkhammer, who notched the second two-goal game of his NHL career. “It’s a total team thing; we’ve got to have everyone kind of come together and fill that void.”
Boedker’s two-goal game was the fourth of his NHL career.
“The more goals you score the more confident you get,” said Boedker, who will turn 24 on Monday. “Hopefully I can keep scoring.”
Boedker entered the game with seven goals this season – all scored on the road. His eighth and ninth drew huge roars from the home fans. The last time he scored in front of them was April 6 of last season.
“It’s been a while since I scored at home,” he said. “It’s nice to hear your own crowd cheering for you.”
Boedker notched his first goal on a rebound at 4:32 of the second period to give Phoenix a 3-1 lead. His second goal of the game, scored with 1:01 left in the second period, was a nifty goal in form and a huge momentum-turner considering the Islanders had trimmed a 4-1 deficit to 4-3 with a pair of goals less than two minutes apart.
“It’s a huge goal,” Klinkhammer said. “They fought their way back to a one-goal game and then ‘Boeds’ hits the laser and it goes up and in. That was a heck of a shot and it gives us a little confidence. I think that was the turning point in the game. We knew we had it after that.”
Head Coach Dave Tippett also was impressed.
“That was a great shot,” Tippett said “…If he can get time and space to shoot it he’s a dangerous player. He had a real good night for us.”
Klinkhammer scored his first goal at 2:34 of the second period to give the Coyotes the lead for good at 2-1. His second goal at 14:13 of the third period punctuated a lopsided win.
“It took me a while to kind of get into my game (this season),” Klinkhammer said. “I wasn’t playing my best, and it wasn’t that I wasn’t working at it, but it wasn’t really there. I think the last couple of weeks it’s starting to come along, which is great. I feel a lot better about that. I think I can help the team a lot.”