COYOTES_TIE BLUE JACKETS 2-2 IN_COLUMBUS
By:_ Damon Markiewicz
Coyotes Player Stats
Blue Jackets Player Stats
By:_ Damon Markiewicz
On Friday night, the Phoenix Coyotes used a goal with less than a minute remaining in regulation time to earn a tie against Dallas, but on Sunday, their fortune was reversed as the Columbus Blue Jackets used a late tally to produce a tie.
After the Coyotes took a 2-0 first period lead, the Blue Jackets rallied as Andrew Cassels’ goal, with 42 seconds remaining in the third period, put the finishing touches on a 2-2 tie in front of 16,631 at Nationwide Arena._ It was the fifth straight overtime game for Phoenix and they now have a record of 5-6-5-1 on the season._
“We knew we were facing a tough opponent in Columbus and they didn’t go away despite being down two goals,” said Coyotes head coach
Bob Francis, who witnessed his team play in their ninth overtime game of the season._ “We did earn a point out of today’s game and I thought both goaltenders played very well today.”
Phoenix netminder Sean Burke stopped 25 of the 27 shots he faced, while his counterpart Marc Denis made 29 saves in the draw._ Each backstopper made key saves down the stretch keeping the game tied._ Burke made a nice pad save on Rick Nash late in the third period and Denis robbed Coyotes left wing Brian Savage on a breakaway late in regulation to send the game into overtime.
“I am not sure who made the pass, but I ended up with the puck and skated in alone on Denis,” said Savage, who picked up one assist and was +1 against the Blue Jackets._ “I tried to get the puck high, but Denis just got his blocker on the shot and unfortunately he made the save.”
The Coyotes continued their momentum, they had generated from their two previous games, into the first period on Sunday building a quick 2-0 lead._ Ladislav Nagy opened the scoring with a power play goal, his team leading 10th marker of the season, at 3:20 of the first period giving Phoenix a 1-0 lead._ Center Daymond Langkow expanded the Coyotes advantage to 2-0 when he tallied his fifth goal of the year at 12:59 of the opening period.
“We ended up having a strong first period and I felt we got stronger as the opening 20 minutes went along,” said Langkow, who is tied for second on the team in goals this season._ “I received a lucky bounce when the puck came off the end boards and I_ backhanded the shot as quickly as possible._ We had the momentum at that point and needed to continue in order to generate pressure.”
In the second period, it was Columbus that started to create scoring chances and ended up on an early power play when defenseman Ossi Vaananen was whistled for holding less than two minutes in._ The Blue Jackets capitalized on the man advantage when Rick Nash scored his 10th goal of the year at 3:38 of the second period cutting the Coyotes lead to 2-1.
“I didn’t think we played that well in the second period,” said Savage._ “We had a much better effort in the third period, but Columbus battled their way back into the game in the second period and you have to give them credit.”
Despite playing a solid defensive system for much of the third period, the Coyotes couldn’t hold onto the lead._ Columbus ended up tying the score at 2-2 when Cassels slid a shot past Burke with 42 seconds remaining in regulation.
“For the most part, we played a pretty sound third period,” said Savage._ “They were able to take advantage of a bouncing puck and tied the game._ We didn’t hold on for the win, but we did pick up a point and competed hard.”_
The Coyotes will now prepare to host the St. Louis Blues on Wednesday night at AWA for the second time this season._ Phoenix defeated St. Louis 2-1 on October 10 with defenseman David Tanabe recording the game-winner in overtime.
NEWS AND NOTES
OUT OF ACTION – Coyotes left wing Daniel Cleary missed Sunday’s game with an infected elbow._ Cleary injured his elbow on November 9 at Anaheim._ He is listed as day-to-day._ With Cleary out of the lineup, Andrei Nazarov played in his fourth game of the season against Columbus.
NUMBER RETIRED – Phoenix left wing Brian Savage had his number retired on Saturday night by the University of Miami (Ohio) where Savage played his college hockey._ In three collegiate seasons, Savage collected 109 points in 106 games.
“It’s a tremendous honor to have the University retire my number,” said Savage._ “I had a lot of people fly in that I haven’t seen in about 10 years, so it was nice to see them and be part of the ceremony.”
OVERTIME AGAIN – The Coyotes continue to lead the League in overtime games this season._ Sunday was Phoenix’s ninth overtime game this season and they are 3-1-5 in the extra session this year._
Phoenix_ - Sean Burke (12 games, 5-5-1, 2.59 gaa, .911 save percentage)
Columbus – Marc Denis (13 games, 5-7-1, 2.34 gaa, .924 save percentage)
Phoenix – Mike Johnson (Shoulder), Zac Bierk (Hip Pointer), Daniel Cleary (Infected Elbow), Brad Ference (Healthy)
Columbus - Espen Knutsen (Hip Pointer), Todd Marchant (Flu), Luke Richardson