Playing their third game in four nights, the Leafs trailed 1-0 heading to the third. In their previous wins over L.A. and San Jose they mounted third-period comebacks but that wasn't the case against Phoenix.
The Leafs ran out of gas as they surrendered four goals in the final frame and fell 5-1. Shane Doan's goal 1:39 into the period ended any hopes for a Leafs' comeback. It stood up as the winner and opened the floodgates for the Coyotes.
Coyotes' record this season when leading after two periods.
Career record for Ilya Bryzgalov against the Leafs.
Leafs' record in the month of January.
1st Star Ilya Bryzgalov
2nd Star Lauri Korpikoski
3rd Star Keith Yandle
Coyotes defenceman Keith Yandle is one of the top young blueliners in the game and he is having his best season to date. He leads the team in scoring with 34 points after picking up three in the win over the Leafs.
Although he picked up just one assist with the extra man he is fifth amongst NHL defencemen in power-play assists (15) and seventh in points (17). He is relied on heavily as his 23:00 minutes Thursday was second highest on the team. He finished the night a plus two.
Colby Armstrong was one of the better Leafs on the night. Not only did he score the Leafs' goal late in the third it also kept his point streak alive. He now has seven points in his last five games.
Armstrong has been vital to the Leafs this season and especially in the Leafs' recent success. With him in the lineup, the Leafs are 15-11-1. Although he was part of the Leafs penalty killing unit that allowed two goals, they came into the game a perfect 11-11 on the trip.
Heading into Thursday's game, the Coyotes were ranked seventh in the NHL in third-period goals with 46. That total increased after their strong performance against the tired Leafs.
The Coyotes scored four times in the period and they have now notched 18 goals in their last 11 games in the third period. For the season, they are a plus 12 in outscoring the opposition in the third. The Leafs on the other hand are a negative two for the season.
"It wasn't James' fault. I thought we actually played a really good game. We had a number of scoring chances where often we missed the net. I think we were trying to be too fine with our shots ... I thought we played well. It slipped out of our hands a little bit in the third period but again I'm not disappointed at all and you can't fault James one bit."
Saturday, January 15 vs. Calgary Flames 7 PM ET (CBC, AM640)
Game Notes: The Leafs return from their four-game road trip to take on the Calgary Flames for the second and final meeting between the teams this season.
In the first meeting the Flames defeated the Leafs 5-2. Calgary is on a four-game road trip that has seen them lose to Carolina before playing Ottawa on Friday.