GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) _ Andy Chiodo picked the perfect moment for his first
Chiodo made 28 saves, and Ric Jackman scored with 3:12 left in overtime as
the Pittsburgh Penguins snapped an 18-game winless streak with a 4-3 victory
over Phoenix on Wednesday night.
``It's pretty exciting in light of how hard this team has worked and
suffered an unfortunate fate the last little while,'' said Chiodo, who was
recalled from the minors Feb. 17 and had lost his two previous starts.
The Penguins rallied from a two-goal deficit in the Coyotes' first game
since making a coaching change.
Jackman redirected a shot by Dick Tarnstrom past goalie Brian Boucher and
promptly was mobbed on the ice by his jubilant teammates.
``I almost messed it up,'' said Jackman, positioned in the low slot on the
goal. ``I was getting yelled at from the bench because I was too low.''
Ryan Malone and Aleksey Morozov scored second-period goals, the latter
coming with 26 seconds left in the period, and the Penguins came back from a
3-1 deficit for their first win since Jan. 12 at Philadelphia.
``We worked pretty hard considering we only had a couple of chances,''
Malone said. ``Our best chances came after good defensive plays. That's where
we need to make it happen. We know we're not the most talented team.''
The game was sloppy throughout, befitting a contest between two teams with a
combined two wins in their last 34 games. The teams combined for multiple
missed passes, some shaky goaltending and 11 minor penalties.
Pittsburgh twice found itself killing off a 5-on-3 power play, the second of
which effectively became a three-man advantage when the Penguins' Mike Eastwood
broke his stick and was left playing defense empty-handed for a dozen seconds.
On another play, Josef Melichar bowled over Chiodo from behind, leaving the
goalie scrambling as Phoenix played the puck behind the net.
The Penguins' rally spoiled the return of Phoenix interim coach Rick
Bowness, who took over the club after Bobby Francis was fired Tuesday. Bowness
previously coached the club for 28 games on an interim basis in 1989 when the
franchise was located in Winnipeg.
``One point is no way. It is unacceptable,'' said Phoenix's Shane Doan.
Melichar also scored for the Penguins, who beat the Coyotes for the first
time since the team moved to Phoenix from Winnipeg before the 1996-97 season, a
span of seven games.
``We can all breathe now,'' Malone said. ``We can smile. We don't have to
worry about anything.''
Jan Hrdina scored a power-play goal, and Cale Hulse and Mike Sillinger added
goals for the Coyotes, 2-9-2-2 in their last 15.
Morozov tied the score with his ninth goal off a long rebound following a
two-on-one break. Malone had pulled the Penguins within 3-2 earlier in the
second period, also scoring on a two-on-one following a Coyotes breakdown.
``The two goals were obviously a major breakdown,'' Bowness said. ``When you
cheat, you're going to get burned. It doesn't matter who you play.''
Melichar opened the scoring when he beat Boucher with a shot flipped toward
the net from outside the right faceoff circle.
Hrdina tied it when Chiodo was unable to control a rebound off Paul Mara's
Sillinger redirected Brad Ference's shot from the blue line to give Phoenix
a 2-1 lead. Hulse made it 3-1 in the second period on a sharp wrist shot from
between the circles.
``I definitely should have had that one,'' Chiodo said of Hulse's goal. ``It
evened out. Boucher let in a bad one in the first and I let in that one. After
that it was important to try and stay focused and not let that be a downfall in
terms of momentum.''