[37-30-15]
3
4
[43-32-7]
04/08/2014
FINAL OT
1 2 3 OT T
PHX 2 0 1 0 3
32 SHOTS 30
32 FACEOFFS 32
37 HITS 45
7 PIM 9
0/2 PP 0/1
6 GIVEAWAYS 12
6 TAKEAWAYS 11
20 BLOCKED SHOTS 15
         

Coyotes Rally Late to Capture Much-Needed Point

Tuesday, 04.08.2014 / 11:59 PM

COLUMBUS -- Ryan Johansen scored a goal at 3:33 of overtime to give the Columbus Blue Jackets a 4-3 win against the Phoenix Coyotes on Tuesday night at Nationwide Arena.

Phoenix fell to 0-2-3 in its past five games, but the Coyotes remain in the hunt for a Western Conference wild-card spot.

"We're incredibly disappointed," Phoenix captain Shane Doan said. "We needed to find ways to get to the net and we did. We just needed to make one more play."

The Coyotes got the tying goal by defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson with 14.6 seconds left in regulation to earn a valuable point. With three games left, Phoenix trails Dallas by two points for the second and final wild-card berth in the Western Conference playoffs.

Columbus remained in the second wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference. The Blue Jackets need two points from the remaining three games to clinch a postseason berth.

Boone Jenner, Mark Letestu and Blake Comeau had the other goals for Columbus. James Wisniewski had two assists, including the pass that sprung Johansen down the left side for the game-winner.

Martin Erat and Doan gave the Coyotes a 2-1 lead after two periods before Letestu evened the score.

Comeau then put Columbus up 3-2 with 6:18 left in the third. He gathered the puck along the left wall in the neutral zone and skated to the faceoff circle before snapping a shot that Phoenix goalie Thomas Greiss (26 saves) couldn't glove.

"I pulled up," Comeau said. "I was looking for a trailer there for a little bit, then I didn't see anybody so I fired on net as hard as I could."

Greiss should have made the save, but he redeemed himself with less than three minutes left when he made a glove save on Johansen's point-blank one-timer.

"He made an unbelievable save with about three minutes left to keep it 3-2 to give us a chance to get a point," Doan said. "That was a world-class save. The only reason we were in it at times is because he made some huge saves."

With Greiss pulled for an extra attacker, Ekman-Larsson scored the tying goal on a shot from inside the blue line through traffic against goalie Sergei Bobrovsky (29 saves). Ekman-Larsson's 15th goal was preceded by a faceoff win after Columbus was called for icing with 36.1 seconds left.

Ekman-Larsson said it was desperation time.

"Everybody in this locker room wants to win," he said. "We work so hard every game. We have to keep pushing."

Ekman-Larsson's goal marked the second time in three games that the Blue Jackets surrendered a late goal. The Chicago Blackhawks scored the winner Friday with 3.9 seconds left in the third after also winning an offensive-zone draw.

"It could have been one of those 'oh no' moments, but credit to the guys because we went out and found a way to win the game," Columbus Head Coach Todd Richards said. "The response on the bench was real positive. It was the coaches saying it and the players saying it."

Comeau said the talk before the start of overtime was to forget about what had just happened and focus on getting the second point.

"We did say on the bench that they're a Western Conference team and that point didn't do too much damage to us," he said. "We just wanted to come out with a strong effort."

It took Johansen a little more than three-and-a-half minutes to give the Blue Jackets the extra point.

Phoenix Head Coach Dave Tippett called the game a "roller coaster" and lamented the giveaways that led to the Columbus goals, including the winner.

"I thought our effort was really strong. Our execution, it was a choppy game," he said. "Unfortunately, the turnover in overtime was kind of the story of the game. In tight hockey games there's little plays that really matter. Some of the turnovers we had ended up in the back of our net, and we couldn't capitalize enough when we found turnovers."

Columbus plays Wednesday at the Dallas Stars at American Airlines Center in a game postponed March 10 after Dallas forward Rich Peverley collapsed on the Dallas bench due to a cardiac event.

The teams will play a full 60 minutes of regulation time, plus any potential overtime and shootout, but the Blue Jackets will retain the 1-0 lead on a Nathan Horton goal prior to when Peverley collapsed.

Horton is unlikely to play because he reinjured himself during the second period Tuesday.

Phoenix's last road game is Thursday against the Nashville Predators before it plays its final two at Jobing.com Arena.

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