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Gretzky Press Conference
Tickets: PHX vs. Dallas 1/10/09
Gretzky Press Conference
GLENDALE, Ariz. - The self-proclaimed “kid line” of Peter Mueller, Kyle Turris and Mikkel Boedker played a vital role as the Coyotes beat the Tampa Bay Lightning 3-2 Thursday night at Jobing.com Arena.
Turris scored the game-winning goal 8:09 into the third period to give the Coyotes their 20th victory (20-17-5).
“They played pretty well tonight,” Coyotes Head Coach Wayne Gretzky said about Mueller, Turris and Bodeker, who combined for six shots on goal. "…They were pretty solid in their own zone. They had some good opportunities and, of course, they got the winning goal.”
Mueller and Olli Jokinen also scored while goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov made 22 saves for the Coyotes, who are in the seventh spot in the Western Conference standings.
“We wanted to get that good feeling back in our locker room,” Jokinen said. “We needed these two points. It’s going to be a tight race for those last spots in the playoffs.”
The Coyotes will compete in that race without rookie forward Viktor Tikhonov for a while. Tikhonov suffered a hand injury while blocking a shot on a penalty kill in the second period. He is listed as week-to-week.
Turris redirected a shot by David Hale from the blue line between the pads of Tampa Bay goaltender Mike Smith for his sixth goal of the season.
“It was a great shot by (Hale),” Turris said. “Perfect height, and the goalie stood up because he didn’t want to go down on it and I was lucky enough to get a stick on it and go five-hole.”
The Coyotes took their first lead on a power play 46 seconds into the second period. Shane Doan fired a blast from the top of the circle that deflected off Smith’s glove. Mueller knocked in the puck when it hit the ice for his ninth goal of the season, and the Coyotes led 2-1.
Tampa Bay, coached by former Coyotes top assistant coach Rick Tocchet, tied the score at 2 with a power-play goal. Jeff Halpern finished a rebound past Bryzgalov for his second goal of the season at 14:43 of the second period.
Tampa Bay (11-19-10) scored first when Andrej Meszaros let go a shot from the point that deflected off the right post, off the back of Bryzgalov and into the net for his first goal of the season at 8:32 of the first period. It was Meszaros’ first goal since Feb. 21, 2008 when he was a member of the Ottawa Senators.
The Coyotes knotted the score at 1 later in the first period thanks to Jokinen, who scored at 12:17. After taking a pass from captain Shane Doan, Jokinen put a backhand off the post and past Smith for his 14th goal of the season.
“It was a nice goal.” Gretzky said. “I thought Jokinen played extremely well tonight. It was a nice line combination. I thought the goal he scored was a big, big goal because we hadn’t scored in so long. It was a nice goal to get.”
• Daniel Carcillo left the game with 13:48 left in the third period after taking a high stick to the face, for the second time in three games. He returned to the ice later in the period.
• Defenseman Ken Klee (lower body injury) and Joakim Lindstrom were scratches for the Coyotes. Goaltender Olaf Kolzig and Paul Szczechura were the Lightning's scratches.
• The Lightning are 1-5-2 against the Western Conference this season.
• Coyotes defenseman Derek Morris led the team in ice-time with 26:59 and five blocked shots.
• Doan and Steven Reinprecht had two assists for the Coyotes.
• The Coyotes committed just two minor penalties in the game.