By Dave Vest
The Coyotes officially reached the midway point of their season in dramatic, record-setting fashion on Tuesday night.
Backup goalie Jason LaBarbera
made 28 saves in 65 minutes and did not allow a goal in the shootout as Phoenix beat the Vancouver Canucks, 3-2, at Jobing.com Arena.
, known primarily for his penalty killing this season, scored a third-round shootout goal for the Coyotes, who set a team record with their 10th consecutive home victory. The franchise entered the NHL in the 1979-80 season as the Winnipeg Jets and then moved to Phoenix in 1996.
Vancouver entered the game with a three-game winning streak and was rested after spending a non-game day in Phoenix on Monday. Ironically, the Coyotes (25-13-3) played and lost a 3-2 shootout at San Jose Monday night.
"I'm just proud of how hard the guys competed," Coyotes Head Coach Dave Tippett said. "I mean, you've got Vancouver on a winning streak, sitting here last night watching our game on TV. We played a hard, hard game in San Jose and we come back here and the guys muster up that kind of effort, it makes our whole coaching staff very proud."
Tuesday’s game was not for those with glass chins as the teams combined for 50 hits. Coyotes defenseman Ed Jovanovski
and captain Shane Doan
threw their bodies at Canucks seemingly all night. Their aggressive approach helped set the tone and set up Phoenix’s first goal.
Coyotes forward Radim Vrbata
was briefly shaken but not seriously injured when Vancouver's Alexandre Burrows inexplicably slashed him behind his right knee with 11:10 left in the second period. Tippett, who said he’d witnessed Burrows do a similar maneuver while he was coaching the Dallas Stars, labeled the play “a cheap shot" and was extremely pleased the Coyotes made Burrows pay for the slash by scoring a goal on the ensuing power play.
Jovanovski lit the lamp at 10:00 of the second period with a tricky shot around traffic and past Canucks goalie Roberto Luongo, who lost his stick moments earlier.
The teams then traded even-strength goals in the second period, and Phoenix led 2-1 after 40 minutes. Vancouver’s Kyle Wellwood sent the game into overtime by scoring a goal at 13:48 of the third period.
Only Korpikoski, who was playing in his 100th NHL game, scored a goal in the shootout. Five other players failed.
The Coyotes elected to go first in the shootout. Vrbata, who set up Petr Prucha
’s goal in the second period with a nice pass from the left corner, tried to beat Luongo with a backhanded shot but Luongo blocked it with his right pad.
Wellwood went first for the Canucks and looked surprised when LaBarbera, who played for Vancouver last season, came out of the goal and poke-checked the puck away from him.
After Peter Mueller’s wrist shot sailed right of the net to start the second round, Vancouver’s Mason Raymond clanked a wrist shot off the left post.
Korpikoski took the ice and raced toward the net up the right side with a burst of Finnish speed. As he approached the top of the crease, he wristed the puck over Luongo’s stick hand.
LaBarbera then secured the victory by making a left leg save on a shot by Samuelsson while flat on his belly.
The defeat was the first non-regulation defeat for Vancouver (23-16-1) this season.
"We got one of those loser points so everybody can get off our case because we didn't have one," Canucks Head Coach Alain Vigneault told reporters. "But I would rather have won and still have people on our case for not having one of those loser points."
• Phoenix has 25 victories after 41 games. No other team in franchise history has won that many games at the official halfway point of the season.
• Center Martin Hanzal
assisted on Petr Prucha
's goal to extend his point streak to five games. In addition, Hanzal won 17 of 26 faceoffs.
• The Coyotes have allowed two or fewer goals in all 10 of their victories during their home winning streak. They have outscored those 10 opponents 32-13.
• Center Kevin Porter played seven shifts in his third game of the season and his first since being recalled from the American Hockey League over the weekend.
• Phoenix scratched Vernon Fiddler
(lower-body injury), Jeff Hoggan and Jim Vandermeer (upper-body injury). Vancouver scratched Jannik Hansen, Aaron Rome and Mathieu Schneider.