The Phoenix Coyotes limped into Vancouver on Friday night with a short bench, shaken up lines, and on the heels of a 4-1 loss at the hands of the Flames on Wednesday, looking to close out their western Canada swing on a high note.
Unfortunately for the Desert Dogs, they were only able to come away with a single point after falling to the Vancouver Canucks 3-2 in overtime after a third period rally, finishing the Canadian trip 1-1-1.
After a scoreless first period that saw plenty of back and forth chances for both teams, it was clear that it was only a matter of time until someone was going to get on the board -- and the opening goal came less than two minutes into the second period when Vancouver’s Jason Garrison ripped one past Mike Smith on the power play. The Canucks continued to pour on the pressure in the second, and as time was winding down Henrik Sedin put the Canucks up 2-0 with a wrister that beat Smith glove-side with under a minute to go in the period.
The third period was a completely different story, with the Coyotes leading the Canucks 7-0 in shots at the halfway point when Antoine Vermette rifled a slapper from the blue line past Roberto Luongo for the Coyotes first tally of the game. Just over two minutes later, Phoenix would even it up as David Moss put the rebound from Rob Klinkhammer’s shot between Luongo’s legs to tie the game at two goals each with nine minutes to go.
The score would stay even through the end of regulation and head to overtime. Both teams would have excellent chances in the extra frame, with Keith Yandle just missing a chance on a 2-on-1 breakaway early on. It was Vancouver, however, who ended the game after Phoenix coughed up the puck on the Canucks blue line leading to a breakaway by Chris Higgins who beat Smith low glove-side for the game-winner.
- The Coyotes were particularly short-staffed on the night. In addition to Lauri Korpikoski and Zbynek Michalek, who are still on the IR, Phoenix was without the services of captain Shane Doan (illness) and Derek Morris (family matter).
- Antoine Vermette was the third alternate captain in Doan’s absence.
- Phoenix once again showed dominance in the faceoff circle, winning 35 of 58 draws.
- For the second game in a row the Coyotes failed to capitalize on the power play, going 0-2.
Our Three Stars of the Game
- 3rd Star - Chris Higgins. His third SOG of the game was the charm - the breakaway wrister in OT was the difference in this one.
- 2nd Star - Antoine Vermette. He wore the extra alternate’s A well tonight, scoring the goal that jumpstarted the comeback for the Coyotes. He wasn’t too shabby in the faceoff circle either, going 13-5 for a 72% win rate.
- 1st Star - Roberto Luongo. Lu faced 39 shots in the game, including 18 in the third period alone, but was solid all night for Vancouver posting a .949 save percentage.
After a three day weekend, the Coyotes head to Denver on Tuesday night to take on the Colorado Avalanche. Puck drop is scheduled for 7 p.m. Arizona time and the game will be live on 3TV and KTAR 92.3 FM.