“We had a good, strong effort,” Coyotes Head Coach Dave Tippett said. “The effort was there. You know, there’s a couple mistakes made here but there was no lack of effort whatsoever. That’s a game we just had to compete hard in. We had everyone trying their hardest and we found a way to get a point. It’s disappointing we didn’t get two.”
Wanting to avenge a 6-0 loss vs. Vancouver on Feb. 2, the Coyotes started strong and scored twice before the game was 11 minutes old.
Center Eric Belanger scored his 10th goal of the season, unassisted, just 3:27 into the first period after a turnover. Belanger assisted on the next goal by feeding captain Shane Doan a pass at the point. Doan shot the puck and it deflected off traffic and past Canucks goalie Roberto Luongo at 10:55.
Vancouver (43-16-9), which leads the NHL with 95 points, quickly cut the deficit to 2-1 when Hamhuis beat Coyotes goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov with a shot from the left circle 17 seconds after Doan’s goal.
Vancouver wasn’t done.
While killing a power play in the second period, Bryzgalov stopped Ryan Kesler’s deflection attempt but couldn’t control the puck. Coyotes defenseman Adrian Aucoin tried to clear it but the puck went to Henrik Sedin and the reigning Hart Trophy winner slapped it into the net at 9:14.
Photo by Getty Images.
The Canucks scored a third goal just 3:03 later when Sami Salo's shot from the right point hit Coyotes defenseman Michal Rozsival in the slot and redirected past Bryzgalov, who made 35 saves.
Coyotes forward Lauri Korpikoski tied the score 3-3 late in the second period when he swatted a pass from Belanger in mid-air past Luongo before crashing into the net.
Neither team scored in third period as both goalies made several crucial saves.
Vancouver had an excellent chance to win the game earlier in overtime when Alex Burrows was awarded a penalty shot after being taken down from behind by Belanger while on a breakaway. Burrows tried to cram the puck past Bryzgalov near the right post but failed, and the game continued until Hamhuis secured a win for Vancouver by scoring a nifty goal at the 2:13 mark (see KEY MOMENT below).
“There are still some issues I think with our puck management that we’ve got to be better at,” Tippett said. “There are just some of the turnovers that are just costly at the wrong time. There are two sides. There’s one side of it where we’re not thinking right and the other side we’re thinking right, we’re not executing. Those can be frustrating. Those are situations where in a game it turns into a territory battle. Either they’re playing in your end or you’re playing in theirs. I would much rather play in theirs.”
Tied 3-3 in overtime, the Sedin twins - Daniel and Henrik - set up Dan Hamhuis for the game-winning goal. Hamhuis scored it with a wrist shot from the left circle that Coyotes goalie Ilya Bryzgalov let slide between his pads.
• Defenseman Rostislav Klesla was hit in the face by a shot early in the second period and left the game, bleeding profusely. He returned to the bench in the third period and played one more shift. Head Coach Dave Tippett said Klesla was too dizzy to continue.
• The Coyotes' next game is Thursday vs. Calgary at Jobing.com Arena. The puck drops at 7 p.m. (Arizona time). The game can be heard on XTRA Sports 910 (AM).
"We found a way to get a point. It's a big point at this stage of the season. We can't be too down or too high when we've got 14 games left. Everything is so tight we have to make sure we get as many points as possible and stay positive, stay confident and know that we can do the job."
"Obviously any point you get right now is huge, but every one you let slip away is big, too. There's a balance there. It's OK that you get one, but it's disappointing not getting the other."
"The last five or six games, we've adopted a playoff mentality. We're playing a lot of desperate teams and the last three games we've found a way to win. That's huge in preparing for the playoffs."
• Nov. 21, 2010: PHX 3, VAN 2 • March 18, 2011:
• Feb. 2, 2011: VAN 6, PHX 0 • March 8, 2011: VAN 4, PHX 3 (OT)
1 - 0 PHX
2 - 0 PHX
2 - 1 PHX
2 - 2 Tie
3 - 2 VAN
3 - 3 Tie