By Dave Vest | Anthony Perez GLENDALE -- Four players scored a goal for the Coyotes on Thursday night as they defeated the Atlanta Thrashers, 4-3, at Jobing.com Arena and extended their winning streak to six games.
With the win the Coyotes remained in first place in the Pacific Division and in third place in the Western Conference with 71 points.
Defenseman Keith Yandle chipped in three assists and Ilya Bryzgalov stopped 33 of 36 shots for Phoenix (31-19-9), which will play its next five games on the road before February ends.
The Coyotes took a 1-0 lead when center Eric Belanger beat Thrashers goaltender Ondrej Pavelec shorthanded at the 3:41 mark of the period. The Thrashers answered right back when Chris Thorburn wristed the puck past Coyotes goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov at 5:03 on the same power play.
Coyotes captain Shane Doan made the score 2-1 at 11:37 of the first period by gathering the puck that bounced off the end boards and one-timing it past Pavelec from the left circle.
Photo by Getty Images.
Atlanta (25-24-10), which has won just two of its past 11 games, converted another power-play opportunity at the 4:10 mark of the second period when Andrew Ladd’s wrist shot beat Bryzgalov and tied the score 2-2. Rich Peverley scored to give the Thrashers a 3-2 lead at 9:29 of the second period, but the Coyotes rallied.
Lauri Korpikoski, who assisted nicely on Belanger’s shorthanded goal in the first period, deflected a shot by Yandle past Pavelec with 4:16 left in the second period (see KEY MOMENT below).
The Coyotes then regained the lead for good at 19:34 when Martin Hanzal one-timed a behind-the-net pass from Ray Whitney past Pavelec from the slot.
Neither team scored in the third period, although the Thrashers applied heavy pressure in Phoenix's zone after pulling Pavelec for an extra attacker after Doan was called for cross-checking at 18:25.
“I thought getting the tying goal and getting the one at the end of the period was a big momentum boost for us,” Coyotes Head Coach Dave Tippett said. “…I’d still like to see us protect the puck better, but for the most part we did what we had to do to win.”
Trailing 3-2, Coyotes defenseman Keith Yandle took a shot on goal from just inside the blue line. Stationed in front of Thrashers goalie Ondrej Pavelec, Coyotes forward Lauri Korpikoski deflected the puck with the shaft of his stick and it went into the net. The goal, scored at 15:44 of the second period, was reviewed by replay officials and was allowed to stand.
• Defenseman Ed Jovanovski collided head-to-head at high speed with Atlanta's Patrice Cormier just moments before the end of the second period. Jovanovski left the ice immediately and did not play in third period. After the game, Coyotes Head Coach Dave Tippett said Jovanovski's injury appeared to be a serious one.
• Captain Shane Doan scored his first goal since Jan. 13, ending a 14-game no-goal streak.
• Defenseman Keith Yandle notched a career-high three assists for the second time this season. Yandle's 41 assists and 50 points are tops among NHL defensemen.
• The Coyotes have posted seven wins, zero losses and one tie in the eight games they've played vs. Atlanta in Arizona.
• The Coyotes' next game is Saturday vs. Nashville at Bridgestone Arena. The puck drops at 6 p.m. (Arizona time). The game can be heard on XTRA Sports 910 (AM).
"It was great to finish the homestand with three wins and take a winning streak on the road for this tough trip. You try not to look at the standings because everything is so tight. You just concentrate on winning and trying to get your points."
"Getting down and then coming together as a team to rally is a good night for us. It was a free-for-all game and they are hungry, they need the points as much as we do. We've got it rolling and we fought hard to keep it going."
"It’s been the same story for a few games now. We’re getting good efforts, but not winning games... This was a good team that beat us, but I thought we played well."
• Feb. 17, 2011: PHX 4, ATL 3