Anthony Perez GLENDALE – Led by a 23-save performance from goaltender Dan Ellis, the Tampa Bay Lightning defeated the Coyotes, 3-0, Saturday night at Jobing.com Arena.
The game was scoreless until Tampa Bay's Mattias Ritola scored his first NHL goal off Coyotes defenseman Keith Yandle's skate at 15:59 of the second period.
The Lightning (7-2-1) extended the lead to 2-0 under similar circumstances just under five minutes into the third period when a redirection by forward Adam Hall ricocheted off the skate of Coyotes defenseman David Schlemko and past goalie Ilya Bryzgalov (see KEY MOMENT below).
Steven Stamkos, who leads the NHL with 19 points, completed the scoring with a slick backhanded shot just under the crossbar with 5:22 left in the game.
With the Coyotes trying to rally in the third, the style of play became more aggressive.
About midway through the third period, Lightning defenseman Pavel Kubina delivered a knee-on-knee hit to Yandle. Coyotes captain Shane Doan immediately rushed in to fight Kubina.
“He (Kubina) stuck his knee out,” Doan said. “(Yandle) is pretty important to us and it’s just one of those things that you react to when you see the knee come out that far.”
Doan received an instigation penalty and a misconduct penalty with his fighting major, while Kubina, who said there was no intent on the play, was given a kneeing penalty with his fighting major.
Just under five minutes later, Yandle also received a misconduct penalty, after he and Lightning forward Steve Downie each received roughing minors for a minor altercation.
EDITOR'S NOTE: Dave Vest of phoenixcoyotes.com contributed to this recap.
Tampa Bay's Adam Hall made the score 2-0 at 4:26 of the third period with a little help from one of Coyotes defenseman David Schlemko's skates.
"I would say 80 percent of our goals come that way, and 80-85 percent of the goals in the NHL are ugly goals," Tampa Bay Head Coach Guy Boucher said. "You watch the highlights and you have a tendency to think it’s all pretty plays. But it’s the ugly goals that make the difference."
• The Coyotes are one of only two teams that haven’t scored a power-play goal at home this season. Carolina is the other team.
• Coyotes defenseman Derek Morris missed the game because of a lower-body injury he suffered in Thursday's win at Detroit. He is listed as day-to-day. Meanwhile, Coyotes center Martin Hanzal missed his sixth consecutive game because of a lower-body injury. He is expected back in the lineup on Wednesday.
• United States Senator John McCain attended the game.
• The Coyotes are off Sunday and will resume practicing on Monday. Phoenix's next game is on Wednesday vs. the Nashville Predators at Jobing.com Arena. The puck drops at 7 p.m. (Arizona time). The game can be heard on XTRA Sports 910.
"We have a lot of players that stats-wise can contribute a lot more. If you look at our top forwards we have no goals from Doan, no goals from Wolski and no goals from Whitney. These are people we rely on for skill."
"Obviously, we're not 10-0, so we have a great deal of work to do. The good thing being 10 games in is we have 72 games left where we can get better."
"We frustrated their zone entry and that was the key to the win. Our defense pushed play to the outside and I was able to see shots. We have a great system, executed it to a T, and that equaled success."
• Feb. 23, 2011:
• Oct. 30, 2010: TBL 3, PHX 0
1 - 0 TBL
2 - 0 TBL
3 - 0 TBL
Martin St. Louis