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DALLAS - Olli Jokinen and Martin Hanzal scored two goals apiece to lead the Coyotes to a 5-3 victory over the Dallas Stars Wednesday night at American Airlines Center.
Hanzal’s second goal at 5:21 of the third period gave Phoenix the lead for good, but it was Jokinen’s second goal with four seconds left in the middle period that paved the way for Phoenix’s come-from-behind victory.
With Stars defenseman Trevor Daley in the penalty box for slashing, Jokinen, playing his first game since Nov. 26, rifled a loose puck past Stars goalie Marty Turco and under the crossbar to light the lamp. The goal tied the score at 3, but more importantly it gave Phoenix the momentum needed to end a two-game losing streak and a three-game trip with a victory.
“It’s always good to score, but the bottom line is to get two points and win, and get that good feeling back in this room, especially after the way we played the last two games,” Jokinen said. “We’ve just got to stay positive and build on it.”
Jokinen missed the past six games because of a shoulder injury. He was activated from the injured reserve list before the game.
“It was a huge goal and it was a good power play,” Head Coach Wayne Gretzky said of Jokinen’s second tally. “I thought everybody on that particular power play did a nice job. We had battles along the wall, shots to the net, we had a rebound. Yeah, you score a goal with three seconds left in the period it goes a long way for a team.”
Steven Reinprecht added an empty-net goal with 24 seconds left, and Ilya Bryzgalov made 29 saves.
Hanzal’s game-winning goal came via a lucky bounce. With the score tied at 3, Turco came out of the goal to his right to play the puck and sent it around the boards behind the Dallas net. Daley, attempting to gather the puck and clear it, inadvertently knocked it directly to Hanzal in the slot and the young center tapped it into the empty net for his eighth goal of the season, and his fifth goal in the past four games.
Referees called eight penalties in the first period, in which four goals were scored.
The Stars, playing minus defenseman Sergei Zubov, and forwards Sean Avery, Steve Ott and Jere Lehtinen, took a 1-0 lead at 4:34 when Daley released a wrist shot from the right circle that beat Bryzgalov at even strength.
Hanzal knotted the score 2:35 later by taking a pass from Viktor Tikhonov from behind the Dallas net and then banking the puck off Turco and into the goal.
The Coyotes gained their first lead with a power-play goal at 9:49 when Jokinen redirected a shot by Ed Jovanovski past Turco for his eighth goal of the season.
Dallas tied the score 69 seconds later on a power-play goal by left wing James Neal.
The Coyotes killed a 44-second, two-man disadvantage late in the first period to keep the score tied. Rookie Fabian Brunnstrom, however, gave Dallas a 3-2 lead when a loose puck found his stick in the slot and he beat Bryzgalov with 11:25 left in the second period.
"I was really proud how our team responded," Gretzky said. "We got beat pretty bad last game (against Chicago)."
|Coyotes center Martin Hanzal (left) is hugged by teammate Viktor Tikhonov after Hanzal's first goal of the game against the Dallas Stars. (AP Photo/LM Otero)|