By Kevin Woodley | NHL.com Correspondent
VANCOUVER -- Ryan Kesler scored the winning goal in the sixth round of the shootout as the Vancouver Canucks ended the Coyotes' five-game winning streak with a 2-1 victory on Monday night at Rogers Arena.
After losing the lead on Keith Yandle's goal with 2:06 left, the Canucks blew three leads in the shootout – in the first, third and fifth rounds – before Kesler snapped one past the blocker of Coyotes goalie Jason LaBarbera and Roberto Luongo got a pad on a shot by Boyd Gordon at the other end (see KEY MOMENT below).
After a failed clearing attempt ended up on Yandle's stick at the point, the Coyotes defenseman quickly threw the puck at the net, and seemed as surprised as anyone that it caught Luongo, who may have been screened, unaware and on his goal line, going in low blocker side.
It was a surprise turn to a game that featured tight defense, limited scoring chances and appeared to be over after David Booth's second-period goal. The Canucks were 22-0-0 when leading after two periods, and the Coyotes only had one win in 19 games (1-17-1) when trailing after 40 minutes. Instead, despite Phoenix only managing seven shots and one scoring chance in the third period, Vancouver headed to extra time for the 10th time in the last 13 games.
Booth scored Vancouver's lone goal in regulation, and added another in the fifth round of the shootout, and Luongo finished with 23 saves as the Canucks ended the Coyotes’ season-best streak.
Vancouver (35-15-6) improved to 7-0-3 in its last 10 games, moving within two points of idle Detroit for the top spot in the Western Conference. At the other end of the conference's playoff race Phoenix (27-21-9) added a point to its slim cushion in eighth place, extending its lead over Calgary and Colorado to three points for the final playoff spot.
LaBarbera finished with 21 saves, beaten only after a luck bounce sent Booth in alone. He skated onto a loose puck after Kesler's dump-in deflected off the outstretched hand of Kyle Chipchura, stranding Yandle. Booth cut in behind the flat-footed Coyotes' defenseman and through the crease before tucking the puck just inside the far post behind LaBarbera.
Luongo made his best stops from the low slot – first off Taylor Pyatt late in the first, then Daymond Langkow early in the second, and again off Lauri Korpikoski late in the period – and seemed headed to his second shutout of the season.
|Photo by Getty Images.
Coming off a 3-0-1 road trip, the Canucks failed to register a shot the first 9:31 despite consecutive chances for the League’s top power play, including a brief five-on-three, and were outshot 9-4 in the first period. The hardest part for LaBarbera, starting for the first time in a month and 12 games ahead of NHL First Star of the Week Mike Smith, was staying awake, though he did need a tough left shoulder save on a shot by Cody Hodgson.
LaBarbera had to be better in the second period as the Canucks outshot Phoenix 13-6. The best came on a shorthanded three-on-two rush surrendered by Phoenix's 30th-ranked power play, but LaBarbera got a shoulder on Alexander Edler's high blast and threw out the left pad to deny Jannik Hansen on the rebound.
Booth finally beat him after the friendly bounce off Chipchura's glove. For Booth, who also scored the tying goal in a 3-2 shootout loss in Calgary on Saturday night, it was the 10th goal of the season, and his fifth goal and ninth point in just 11 games since returning after missing six weeks with a knee sprain.
► EDITOR'S NOTE: Dave Vest of phoenixcoyotes.com edited this story and compiled this recap.
The entire shootout was a dramatic one as the Coyotes matched the Canucks round for round until the sixth when Canucks forward Ryan Kesler beat Coyotes goalie Jason LaBarbera
, and Vancouver goalie Roberto Luongo denied a shot by Phoenix forward Boyd Gordon
to secure the extra point.
► Click here
to see the KEY MOMENT
• Goalie Jason LaBarbera
, who played nine games for Vancouver in 2008-09, made his first start since Jan. 13 and stopped 21 of 22 shots in 65:00. Despite the solid outing, LaBarbera's record dropped to 3-7-2. "It hasn't been an easy couple months for me, (I) still haven't won in a while," LaBarbera said. "It hasn't been a whole lot of fun, but you've got to find a way to fight through it and give the guys a chance to win. I felt pretty good about my game tonight, obviously other than the end."
• Forwards Ray Whitney
, Gilbert Brule
and Mikkel Boedker
each scored shootout goals for the Coyotes. It was the first shootout goal of the season for all three players.
• Forward Raffi Torres
took one shot on goal and delivered one hit in 8:20 of ice time playing in his first game at Vancouver since leaving the Canucks and signing with the Coyotes last summer.
• Forward Taylor Pyatt
suffered an upper-body injury early in the second period after being checked into the boards by Canucks defenseman Aaron Rome. Pyatt gingerly skated to the bench after the hit and did not return to the game.
• Defenseman Derek Morris
was a late scratch because of the flu. Chris Summers
replaced Morris in the lineup and played 15:41 in his first game since Jan. 31.
• The Coyotes scratched Paul Bissonnette
and Derek Morris
• The Coyotes' next game is Thursday vs. the Los Angeles Kings at the Staples Center. The puck drops at 8:30 p.m. (Arizona time). The game can be seen on Fox Sports Arizona Plus and can be heard on XTRA Sports 910 (AM).