Yeah. That goal by Viktor Tikhonov, or Shane O'Brien, or whoever you want to credit it to pretty much summed up the game for the Canucks. A combination of the Coyotes actually playing a decent game and the Canucks just looking lost out there made this happen. Bryzgalov had another excellent game in goal for the boys in red as well.
For most of the period the two teams looked pretty evenly matched. Both netminders looked sharp and were making quality saves. It wasn't until there was just under 6 minutes left on the clock that the Coyotes finally put a goal on the board. Daniel WInnik tried to put the puck across the crease, but it went of the skate of Mattias Ohlund and then between the pads of Luongo. It was a bad bounce, but that's pretty much the story of the game. When there was a bounce to be had it would be going against the Canucks.
The Coyotes would keep the momentum going as they opened up the second. Just a little more than a minute into the period, Keith Yandle passed from one blue line to the other, connecting with Shane Doan. Doan shot it from just inside the top of the circle and over the leg of Luongo to put the Yotes up 2-0. Lots of Howling insued. With Shane O'Brien in the box for roughing Zbynek Michalek, the Coyotes quickly started padding their lead when Ed Jovanovski, who had a rough game defensivly, was able to blast one in right Lu's arm on the stick side. Finally, with the goal that everyone will be talking about today. Viktor Tikhonov was called with a delayed penalty for hooking Sami Salo. He starts to get back defensively while the Canucks pull Luongo out and bring in the sixth man. As the Canucks started to bring it out of the defensive zone, Tikhonov was pestering them, trying to break up the play one of the Sedins tries to pass to Shane O'Brien at the blueline but it either delects off of Tikhonov or O' Brien, it's hard to tell in the replay who touches it. EIther way the puck heads directly for the Vancouver net, O'Brien tries to sweep it out, but instead goes crashing into the net for what has to be the flukiest goal of the season. When all is said and done, Tikhonov gets credit for the goal, which counted since he never had possesion, it just deflected off him. He then went to the box to serve his penalty.
LaBarbara comes in in relief of Luongo to start the third. The second All-Star goalie the Coyotes have chased off this week. Matthew Lombardi would get the 5th goal for the Coyotes when he faked out LaBarbera and tucked in into the net when he tried to reach out and poke the puck away. Finally Alex Burrows broke the shutout bid for Bryzgalov when the Coyotes couldn't hold control of the puck and the Canucks got it out top. Alex Edler's slapshot went just wide, but took a hard rebound straight back into the slot where Alex Burrows was able to get a stick on it and put it behind Bryzgalov.
It was a pretty great game from the Coyotes' point of view. We haven't been tanking which is both nice to see, and mildly disappointing as the draft picks would be nice. I'll take a good showing by the boys any night of the week though. So away with the tank. If we can't be last then what's the point eh? Onward to beat up on some Ducks again...