It was the same old formula for the Coyotes 4-3 road victory against the Columbus Blue Jackets. The Yotes got down early, tied things back up, got down again and then tied it up again and retook the lead for good.
Phoenix couldn’t have gotten off to a worst start. The Blue Jackets scored two goals within the first six minutes of the game with the two goals coming within a three minute stretch of one another. The first came from Jared Boll and the second came from Rostislav Klesla. The two goals were what you could call soft goals and ones that Ilya Bryzgalov usually stops. Bryzgalov got off to a rocky start, but he settled down from that point on.
The second period was much kinder to the Coyotes than the first period was. Vernon Fiddler got the goal scoring started a little more than two minutes in with a short-handed goal. Just a minute later though, the Jackets Kristian Huselius would give back his team a two-goal lead on a power play goal. Columbus’ momentum would be short-lived though after Eric Belanger scored 27 seconds after Huselius’ goal. Belanger’s goal was his fifth of the season and his first since Nov. 10.
The Coyotes would take control of the game during the third period. Radim Vrbata would tie things up with his eighth goal of the season just 36 seconds into the period. About midway through the period, Derek Morris would cap off the Phoenix comeback on a slap shot. Morris’ shot hit off Columbus goaltender Matheiu Garon’s back and into the net to give the Coyotes lead that they wouldn’t lose. Sometimes you have be more lucky than good and Morris was exactly that on that shot.
Morris’ goal wouldn’t have mattered if it weren’t for the goaltending of Bryzgalov after the first period. After his slow start, Bryz only allowed one more goal the rest of the night and it came when Phoenix was a man down. He faced 29 shots the final two periods and stopped 28 of them. Not too shabby for a guy that has missed nine of his past 11 games.