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Gretzky Press Conference
Gretzky Press Conference
GLENDALE, Ariz. - The Coyotes punctuated their dominace of the Columbus Blue Jackets this season with a 2-0 victory at Jobing.com Arena on Saturday night.
Goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov made 33 saves for his first shutout of the season as the Coyotes completed a four-game season sweep of Columbus.
“(Bryzgalov) has the ability to be a special player and he is showing that right now,” said Coyotes Head Coach Wayne Gretzky, whose team won for the fourth time in the past six games. “There was no question he was the difference in the hockey game tonight.”
Steven Reinprecht scored the game-winning goal in the second period and rookie Mikkel Boedker added an insurance goal in the third period for the Coyotes, who earned a point in their sixth consecutive game (4-0-2).
The Blue Jackets (14-15-4) haven’t beat the Coyotes since Feb. 7, 2008, and lost their third game in the past four.
It was the first shutout for Bryzgalov since March 13, 2008 when he beat Vancouver 2-0, and while most goaltenders enjoy shutouts, the Russian netminder wasn't overly impressed by his feat.
“A shutout is like a dessert,” said Bryzgalov, who has allowed only three goals in his last three games. “Most important is we are in a playoff race right now and Columbus was two points behind us. It doesn’t matter if we win 2-0 or 6-5, it’s a huge two points for us.”
After a scoreless first period, the Coyotes (16-13-4) scored in the second period.
Buzzing in the Columbus zone, Peter Mueller fed defenseman Ken Klee, who ripped a shot from the blue line that was deflected by captain Shane Doan. After a save by Blue Jackets goaltender Steve Mason, Reinprecht found the loose puck in front of the crease and put it into an open net for his eighth goal of the season at 10:23.
Boedker added a key goal in the third period.
After stealing the puck from Blue Jackets defenseman Kris Russell, Boedker skated in and put a backhand over the left arm of Mason for his seventh goal of the season at 6:52 to give the Coyotes a 2-0 lead.
“(Lindstrom) made a good play taking the guy on the wall a little bit and the puck bounced to me,” said Boedker, who has 16 points in 33 games in his rookie season. “It was supposed to be Enver (Lisin) on the ice, but he was getting his skate fixed so I took a chance and jumped on and was lucky the puck was right there.”
For Boedker, it was his first goal against Mason, who was his teammate on the Kitchener Rangers of the Ontario Hockey League.
Bryzgalov made a glove save on a shot by Fredrik Modin from the bottom of the left face-off circle in the final minutes to help rpreserve his sixth NHL shutout.
With the victory, the Coyotes remained in the seventh slot in the Western Conference standings, closing the gap between them and the idle Anaheim Ducks, who are three points ahead of Phoenix.
• Phoenix has a 6-2-2 record in December and is 4-0-1 this month at Jobing.com Arena.
• Blue Jackets rookie center Derick Brassard, who is second on the team in scoring, is out indefinitely due to a separated shoulder sustained in a fight. He will have an MRI on Sunday to determine long-term damage.
• Former Coyotes forward Mike York made his season debut with the Blue Jackets on Saturday night. He played 13:15.
• Defenseman Ed Jovanovski led the Coyotes with 25:22 in ice-time.
• Phoenix outhit Columbus 40-26.
• The Coyotes are 9-6-0 when scoring the first goal of the game.
• Phoenix hasn’t allowed a power-play goal in its past three games.