COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) -- The Phoenix Coyotes wanted to make sure they entered
their new home arena with a positive from their road trip.
David Tanabe scored the go-ahead goal early in the third period and Ladislav
Nagy had two assists to lead Phoenix over the Columbus Blue Jackets 2-1 Tuesday
It gave the Coyotes a win at the end of a four-game road trip (1-0-3) and
evened their record as they get ready for their first game in their new
Glendale, Ariz., arena on Saturday.
"We wanted to go home .500," Phoenix coach Bob Francis said. "We're going
back home into a good situation. If you lose this one your whole mental outlook
Tanabe blasted a slap shot from the high slot past Columbus goaltender Fred
Brathwaite for the power-play goal at 1:52. The win snapped a streak of four
consecutive road ties for the Coyotes, who are 2-1-4 in their last seven games.
"It just so happened that (Shane) Doan found a lane to me ... I just tried
to get it off as quick as I could and it went in," Tanabe said.
Tanabe shared his coach's assessment that the game was a must-win.
"I think we knew coming into tonight that if we didn't win it would be an
unsuccessful road trip," Tanabe said. "Going home now I think everyone feels
it was a success. Everyone's excited about the new building."
The Blue Jackets held a players-only meeting after a 5-2 loss Saturday in
Minnesota that dropped Columbus into a tie with Pittsburgh for the fewest
points in the NHL. But it hasn't helped yet because the Blue Jackets fell to
0-6-1-2 in their last nine and have only one win in 12 games.
"We've become pretty fragile in the last month," Columbus coach Doug
MacLean said. "There's a confidence factor there. It's not happening right
now, there's no doubt about that."
Jan Hrdina scored Phoenix's other goal.
Rick Nash netted his 21st of the season for Columbus to open the scoring
early in the second period. He is tied with Atlanta's Ilya Kovalchuk for the
The Blue Jackets, mired in an 0-for-23 slump on the power play the last
three games, had two power plays after Tanabe's goal. But they threatened
"We had our chances on the power play and we're not getting anything
there," MacLean said. "We didn't capitalize."
While Phoenix was short-handed soon after Tanabe's goal, another Coyotes
player was without a stick but the Blue Jackets were still unable to get the
puck beyond the perimeter. Tyson Nash was called for hooking with less than
seven minutes remaining, and the only chance for Columbus took a bad hop over
Rick Nash's stick just outside the crease.
Columbus had three other power plays -- all in the first period -- and
including 50 seconds of five-on-three time.
"The last thing we want to do is take too many penalties," Francis said.
"I think it's a product of their adrenaline and the fact that we placed a
major importance on this game."
Rick Nash, standing in front of Sean Burke and battling defenseman Cale
Hulse, redirected Derrick Walser's snap shot from the point at 2:11 of the
second period to make it 1-0. Walser has a point in six of seven games.
"It was a nice hardworking play by Walser," Nash said. "I just happened
to be in the right place."
Hrdina tied it 1-1, jamming a one-timer after a slick feed from Nagy that
left three Blue Jackets scrambling at 13:24 of the second period. Walser's
unforced pass from behind the Columbus goal to Branko Radivojevic at the point
led to the goal.
"They scored on the power play and we didn't, bottom line," MacLean said.