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Colorado Avalanche vs Phoenix Coyotes Recap: Avs Buried by Energized Yotes

The Phoenix Coyotes won their third game in a row on Saturday by defeating the Colorado Avalanche 4-0.

Jennifer Stewart-USA TODAY Sports

The Phoenix Coyotes obliterated the Colorado Avalanche 4-0 on Saturday night as the Yotes played quite possibly their best game of the season.

The victory places Phoenix 9th in the Western Conference, two points behind 8th place St. Louis and three points behind 7th place Detroit.

[Complete Coverage] - [Colorado Reaction]

[Event Summary] - [Play-by-Play] - [TOI Log] - [Faceoff Report]

Mike Smith was perfect in his return from injury making 24 saves en route to his fifth shutout of the season. It was also the team's first three-game winning streak of the season.

All three phases of the game came together for Phoenix as solid offense, defense and special teams led to the four-goal victory.

Scoring first has been an integral part of the Coyotes' successes the last few years, and they were able to do so on Saturday night. Mikkel Boedker wristed the puck across the net and into the far corner 1:46 into the game. The Avalanche did not record a shot against the returning Mike Smith for the first six minutes of the game.

Smith contributed on the offensive side as well as his break-out pass led to Phoenix taking a 2-0 lead. With Colorado making a short-handed line change, Smith shot the puck up the ice to Radim Vrbata who passed the puck into the zone creating a 2-on-0 with Shane Doan and Martin Hanzal. A pair of passes to each other resulted in Hanzal slapping the puck into the Colorado net. Things got a bit chippy after a Colorado player attempted to poke free a puck that Smith covered after making a sprawling save. Smith ripped the stick away, smashed in on the cross bar and threw it across the ice.

Boyd Gordon gave the Yotes a three goal lead after shooting the puck from a nearly impossible angle past Semyon Varlamov. Captain Coyote, Shane Doan scored to give the Desert Dogs a 4-0 lead and the rout was on.

Colorado had a flurry of offense mid-way through the third period but was unable to solve Smith.

Paw Prints

  • Phoenix improved to 12-0-1 this season when leading after two periods.
  • The Coyotes have outscored opponents 6-0 in the second period over the three-game home stand.
  • Ekman-Larsson now leads the team with 18 assists.
  • Prospective buyer Geroge Gosbee was reportedly in attendance with Anthony LeBlanc.
  • Attendance: 16,648

Five For Winning

1. Next Man Up - The Coyotes got big contributions from AHL call-ups Chris Conner and Chris Brown during the game against Detroit. Thanks to the flu bug, the Coyotes also were forced to bring up David Rundblad and Alexandre Bolduc. If these guys make the lineup, they will need to contribute in some way during the game. Neither player was forced to enter the game as neither man dressed.

2. Kill Off Some Penalties - Both of Detroit's goals Thursday night came while the Coyotes were shorthanded, and the PK is currently only 82.7% effective this year. Colorado's power play is statistically as bad as Phoenix's is; tonight would be a good night to have a clean sheet on the PK. The Yotes were much more disciplined and did not allow the Avalanche to score with the man-advantage.

3. Pass - One of the major things I noticed in Thursday's game was that the Coyotes were making good passes; the Conner goal and the Doan goal were entirely due to excellent passes from Mikkel Boedker and Keith Yandle, respectively. Crisp, accurate passing will do wonders for the Coyotes' offense. The Coyotes controlled the puck and passed very well throughout the game.

4. Shoot - I know that I said passing was important, but so is shooting. The Coyotes are at their best when they're giving goaltenders fits with shot after shot after shot. Phoenix managed to outshoot Detroit: they should try and do that again. Phoenix entered the zone and made sure they didn't leave it without shooting the puck. Gordon's goal is proof that a shot from anywhere can go in.

5. Nothing Less Than Absolute Victory: Colorado is the worst team in the league. The Coyotes need to prove that tonight and walk away with two points. This is a game they should win. The Coyotes dominated all facets of the game en route to a blow-out victory.

Our Three Stars Of The Game

1. Mike Smith: 24-save shutout! Made even more amazing by the fact that it was his first game back from injury.

2. Shane Doan: Two points (1-1-2) for the captain.

3. Oliver Ekman-Larsson: A pair of assists and a +2 on the night for the young Swede.

Game Highlights

Smitty Smash

Looking Ahead

The Coyotes will embark on a three game road trip to western Canada. The trip begins Monday night in Vancouver before travelling to Edmonton and Calgary on Wednesday and Friday respectively.