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Phoenix Coyotes vs Ottawa Senators recap: afternoon Verm-ite

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This afternoon's game in Ottawa started off like many of the games we've seen from the Phoenix Coyotes lately. They went down a goal in the first and committed a slew of sloppy penalties. The difference in this one was the Coyotes, after falling behind twice, managed to pull out a come from behind overtime victory against the Ottawa Senators.


The first period was pretty much what we have come to expect from Phoenix on this Northeastern road trip. Oliver Ekman-Larsson took the first of many penalties in the game early in first period with an interference call against Ottawa's Jean-Gabriel Pageau.  This misstep by OEL ultimately lead to the first goal, as Bobby Ryan found a wide open Marc Methot who was originally credited with a goal. After the game the goal was awarded to Kyle Turris.

The second period started in the Yotes favor as Zack Smith took an early hooking penalty against Ekman-Larsson.  After an unsuccessful power play, the Senators' Smith picked up the puck as he was getting out of the box and gave Ottawa a two-goal lead.

Mike Smith stayed in the center of the net expecting a pass to a trailing Turris, however that was not to be as Smith's wrister easily made it past him.  The Coyotes managed to get their first of the afternoon not long after, as Antoine Vermette took a backhand shot after a pass from Lauri Korpikoski.

Phoenix got a bit of revenge on their third power play after Pageau took a holding call against Keith Yandle.  Not a minute into that power play, Martin Hanzal passed to Radim Vrbata who skated through a few Senators players to net the game tying goal.

Soon after, the Coyotes tied the score on a Vrbata power play goal.

Halfway through the second period, things started to get interesting on the ice.  Initially the tension appeared to be between Chris Neil and Michael Stone, ultimately resulting in Neil slashing Smith. The final result was Neil, Colin Greening, Smith and Stone all getting penalties and Phoenix going on the power play for two minutes.

Ultimately that was just the start of a physical second half of the second period. Clarke MacArthur rode Connor Murphy into the boards, and though it was clearly a boarding call against MacArthur, Murphy ended up in the box as well with a interference call.

Methot decided to take advantage of the open ice that 4-on-4 hockey brings and drove toward the Coyotes' net and wristed one past Smith giving Ottawa a 3-2 lead.

The Coyotes found themselves down again after working their way back from a 2-0 deficit.

Mike Ribeiro and Yandle took penalties toward the end of the second period, and Hanzal followed suit early in the third. Things looked bleak for the Coyotes as they were down 52 minutes into the game with Ribeiro taking his second penalty of the game. However, Erik Condra went to the box for high-sticking Rostislav Klesla soon after. Vermette capitalized on the final power play of the game after Moss sent the puck through the blue paint and found Vermette wide open in front.

Things were much more civil during the overtime period and there was a fair amount of back and forth action.  About halfway through the extra session, the Yotes found themselves with a faceoff in the Ottawa zone. Vermette won it and got it back to D-Mo who put it on net. Though Craig Anderson managed to make the first save, who else but Vermette managed to tap it home, through the five hole, for the overtime, game winning, hat trick.

Our Three Stars

3rd Star - Lauri Korpikoski. His first game back he had the primary assist of the Coyotes first goal of the afternoon.

2nd Star - Marc Methot. A goal and primary assist for the Senators, he was definitely the most valuable player for him.

1st star - Antoine Vermette. 3 words.  Overtime. Hat. Trick.

Paw Prints

  • Lauri Korpikoski played 12:46 in his first game back since November 16th.  He had a primary assist on the Coyotes first goal.
  • The Coyotes took 11 penalties this game and they allowed one power play goal on the evening.
  • Oliver Ekman-Larsson took two penalties during the game. One for Interference and another for Delay of Game for shooting the puck over the glass.  He has taken at least one penalty in each of the last five games. This season, he already has 28 penalty minutes, putting him on pace for the most penalty minutes in a season (32 in 82 games during the 2011-12 season) in his career.
  • Mike Smith has played five straight games since Thomas Greiss last started.  During that time he is 2-2-1 and has faced 150 shots and stopped 139 pucks for a save percentage of .926.
  • Klesla, in his second game back, drew six penalty minutes and was the only Coyotes defenseman to not take a penalty.

Comment of the Afternoon

Admittedly it was hard to pick just one.  So here is three, one for each period.

here you go you guys should wear this one

"Hockey in the desert? This is madness!" 
"Madness? THIS! IS! PHOENIX!" 
Support Coyotes hockey at Five For Howling 
Bans: 6

Neil v. Smith let's go!

Managing Editor at Five For Howling

9 minor penalties = not good

Managing Editor at Five For Howling

Looking Ahead

The Coyotes have one more game left until they are home for the holidays. They play the Buffalo Sabres on Monday at 5 p.m. Arizona time.