Coyotes 6, Maple Leafs 3
GLENDALE, Ariz. - Behind a hat trick from Martin Hanzal and two goals in the third period from Steven Reinprecht, the Coyotes beat the Toronto Maple Leafs 6-3 Thursday night at Jobing.com Arena.
It was Phoenix's fourth victory in its past five games.
“We scored some timely goals and guys came up large when they had to,” Coyotes Head Coach Wayne Gretzky said. “Marty (Hanzal) was tremendous, especially early in the game when the game was on the line and he was a very important part of the game.”
Todd Fedoruk added a cosmetic goal in the third period for the Coyotes (12-11-2), who exceeded the .500 plateau for the first time since the third game of the season (2-1-0).
“We’re learning how to play the game every single night,” said Derek Morris
, who had two assists. “…We’re doing a good job of realizing that it’s going to be tight, it’s going to be hard all year and we have to stick to the system and play smart.”
Phoenix played one of its best games defensively allowing 18 shots, with six of those coming in the final five minutes.
“There were a lot of positives in our work ethic,” Gretzky said. “I’m really proud and happy with our team's defensive play more than anything."
Toronto (9-11-6) finished a three-game trip through the Pacific Division with two straight losses.
The Coyotes needed only 2:07 to take a 1-0 lead. On a delayed penalty, Hanzal collected a blocked Ed Jovanovski
shot in the slot and put it past Toronto goaltender Vesa Toskala for his first goal of the night.
Toronto answered quickly.
Alexei Ponikarovsky banged a loose puck past Coyotes goalie Mikael Tellqvist from the right side of the net to erase the lead 1:42 later.
Remarkably, Hanzal and Ponikarovsky traded goals again, and the score was tied 2-2 after 20 minutes.
While short-handed at the beginning of the second period, Znynek Michalek and Hanzal came down the ice on a two-on-one rush. Boedker fed Hanzal, who cut to the middle and put the puck past Toskala for his first career hat trick 27 seconds into the stanza.
But Toronto again answered when forward Jason Blake ripped a shot past Tellqvist for his fourth goal of the season at 14:55 of the second period to tie the score at 3.
Gretzky replaced Tellqvist with Ilya Bryzgalov
after two periods. Tellqvist had six saves in two periods on just nine shots.
“We wanted to come out hard in the third and it was an important two points for us,”
|Coyotes center Martin Hanzal celebrates his first goal on Thursday night. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)
said forward Steven Reinprecht, who has 12 points in 23 games this season.
The Coyotes took their fourth and ultimately last lead of the game when Reinprecht redirected a Morris shot from the blue line to give Phoenix a 4-3 lead at 5:21 of the third period.
Reinprecht scored his second goal of the game after he picked up a loose puck in the slot off a Morris shot and put it past Toskala for his fifth goal of the season at 14:22.
Fedoruk ripped a shot into an open net after a nice pass from rookie Viktor Tikhonov
for his third goal of the season at 16:08.
• This was Phoenix's first win of the season after being tied after two periods. Prior to Tuesday’s game, the Coyotes were 0-2-0.
• Eleven Coyotes notched at least one point in the victory.
• The six goals Phoenix scored were the most goals the team has scored in one game this season.
• Defenseman Kurt Sauer
led the Coyotes in ice time (24:42).
• For just the third time in their past nine games, the Coyotes didn’t score a power-play goal.
• Phoenix held the Maple Leafs to 18 shots, the lowest number of shots the Coyotes have allowed in one game this season.
• Both teams had two goals after three shots on goal.
|Three star selections