Coyotes 3, Blue Jackets 2
COLUMBUS, Ohio - Multiple heroes led the Coyotes to a 3-2 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets Wednesday night at Nationwide Arena.
First on the list is goaltender Mikael Tellqvist, who stopped 38 of 40 shots, including 14 in the third period when the Blue Jackets had four power plays.
“Our goaltender was absolutely brilliant, and when you get goaltending like that at this level it goes a long way,” Coyotes Head Coach Wayne Gretzky said.
Rookie Viktor Tikhonov
scored the game-winning goal with 2:32 left in the third period as the Coyotes ended a six-game winless streak in dramatic fashion. Captain Shane Doan
set up the goal by digging the puck off the back wall and backhanding a no-look pass to Tikhonov, who deked and slid the puck past Columbus goaltender Steve Mason.
“It’s an unbelievable feeling,” Tikhonov said. “I can’t really describe it. It’s honestly like another dream come true. It was great… It was a tough, hard-fought game.”
Other heroes included penalty killers Steven Reinprecht, Zbynek Michalek and Kurt Sauer
, who thwarted 54 seconds of a five-on-three disadvantage late in the game.
“That was huge,” Tellqvist said. “They all worked so hard in front of me and blocked a whole lot of shots. It was one hell of a PK and a big win …We didn’t play a great game tonight, but we got the win.”
The Blue Jackets took a 1-0 lead at 8:08 of the first period, three seconds after killing a penalty. Kristian Huselius received a pass from Fedor Tyutin and went in alone on Tellqvist. Huselius put the puck five-hole for his eighth goal of the season.
It felt great ... It was great to feel like I contributed. - David Hale
Playing without injured center Olli Jokinen, who left the game after his fifth shift because of a shoulder injury, the Coyotes found some offense from an unlikely source.
Defenseman David Hale, who entered the game with zero goals in 230 NHL games played, tied the score at 1 by firing a slap shot from the top of the left circle past Mason at 9:41 of the second period.
“It felt great,” Hale said. “... It was great to feel like I contributed.” He added, “Most of all, it was a good team win … now we know how hard we have to work and what it takes to win games.”
Soon after Hale’s goal, the Coyotes went on a power play and scored again when Daniel Carcillo redirected a shot by Keith Yandle
for a 2-1 lead at 12:16.
Huselius, who led all players with six shots on goal, hit two posts in the second period.
The Blue Jackets tied the score at 2 a minute into the third period when Jason Chimera scored on a two-on-one break with R.J. Umberger.
After the game, Gretzky said he felt the Coyotes won despite being outplayed by the Blue Jackets.
“We played extremely well the last two games and came out with nothing, and then we didn’t play as good as their team tonight … and we ended up winning this game,” Gretzky said. “So, how do you figure this game? Sometimes it can be crazy.”
Blue Jackets Head Coach Ken Hitchcock told reporters: "We should have put our foot right on their throat. (The Coyotes) weren't ready to play, we had everything going for us and we didn't bury the chances we had."
• The Coyotes are 3-0-0 against the Blue Jackets this season. They will go for the sweep on Dec. 20 at Jobing.com Arena.
• Carcillo and Columbus forward Derek Dorsett engaged in a lengthy fight in the first period. Dorsett left the ice immediately after the bout and did not return.
Michalek played 27:47 and blocked three more shots to bring his season total to a team-high 68.
• Columbus dropped to 9-3-0 when scoring the first goal.
• Derek Morris
(injured), Brian McGrattan and Garth Murray were the scratches for the Coyotes.
• Columbus forward Rick Nash did not score a goal, ending his goal-scoring streak at five games.
• Columbus forward Michael Peca won 15 of 19 face-offs.
• The Coyotes next play on Friday at 2 p.m. against the Colorado Avalanche at Jobing.com Arena. Phoenix will debut its new third jersey in that game.
|Three star selections