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Morris Strikes from the Blueline
Gretzky Press Conference
Gretzky Press Conference
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GLENDALE, Ariz. - Three unanswered goals in the third period propelled the Vancouver Canucks to a 4-3 victory over the Coyotes on Thursday night at Jobing.com Arena.
“I think we played a pretty good game,” said defenseman Ed Jovanovski, who led the Coyotes in ice time with 25:54. “It's tough to lose games the way we lost tonight, but our focus has to move forward to the next game. We are going to be in this position a lot and hopefully we learn from it and don’t crumble under pressure again.”
The Coyotes entered the third period with a 3-1 lead after goals by Derek Morris, Steven Reinprecht and Enver Lisin, but they couldn’t finish off the game and lost in regulation for the first time this season after leading after two periods (17-1-1).
“This one hurt because it would have really got us in the middle of the mix again,” Coyotes Head Coach Wayne Gretzky said. “…Their big guys stepped it up in the third period. (Mats) Sundin and the Sedins and (Pavol) Demitra, they went up another level and we didn’t answer that very well. This loss hurts. It was a tough loss.”
The Coyotes (25-26-5) next play Calgary at Jobing.com Arena on Saturday night.
Face-off losses and seven minor penalties were the dagger for the Coyotes, who were playing their second game in as many nights and coming off an emotional 1-0 victory over Dallas on Wednesday.
Thursday's comeback victory was the second in a row for the Canucks (26-20-8), who beat the St. Louis Blues, 6-4, on Tuesday.
“This is not an easy league to come back from,” Canucks Head Coach Alain Vigneault said. “Any time you’re behind, statistics show the team that’s ahead wins. We have done it two times in a row here. We are playing better at both ends of the rink. I don’t think we gave them a lot offensively tonight.”
Down 3-1 in the third period, the Canucks cut into the lead at 2:16 after a goal from Demitra, his 15th of the season.
Alexander Edler knotted the score at 3 with his sixth goal of the season at 8:22. Kevin Bieksa ripped a one-timer from the blue line that was redirected by Edler to give the Canucks new life.
Henrik Sedin gave the Canucks their only lead of the game 2:25 later. Sami Salo blasted a shot from the point that rebounded out in front of the net. Daniel Sedin found his brother Henrik wide-open for his 10th goal of the season.
“I think the biggest thing is we sat back and didn’t stay as aggressive as we should have like we did early in the game,” Morris said.
• Coyotes rookie forward Viktor Tikhonov returned to the lineup after missing 10 games because of injury. He played 13:16, including 1:39 killing penalties.
• Mikkel Boedker and David Schlemko were scratches for Phoenix. Rob Davison and Mason Raymond were scratches for the Canucks. Martin Hanzal remained out for the Coyotes with a shoulder injury.
• The Coyotes blocked 27 shots, making it their first loss when blocking more than 20 shots in a game this season (8-1-1).
• Phoenix had a 36-second five-on-three power play in the first period, but couldn’t score. The Coyotes and the Columbus Blue Jackets are the only teams without a five-on-three goal this season.
• The Coyotes outhit the Canucks 34-23.
• Vancouver outshot the Coyotes 32-28. Reinprecht led all players with six shots on goal. Every player for the Canucks had a shot on goal except for defenseman Shane O’Brien.