The Coyotes found a perfect time to get back on the right track. Behind some great goaltending from Ilya Bryzgalov and two goals from Eric Belanger, the Yotes got a 5-2 win over the Avalanche for their fifth consecutive road victory.
Phoenix got off to a bad start in the first couple of minutes in the first period. Just four minutes in, Ryan Stoa’s shot hit of the pads of Bryzgalov and managed to find a way into the net for only his second goal of the season. That was the only highlight and the lone shot for Colorado on Bryzgalov during the first 20 minutes.
Scottie Upshall would tie things up for the Coyotes a few minutes later for Phoenix’s first and only power play goal on the night in six chances. It was the third goal for Upshall in two games after having an eight-game goalless streak. Keith Yandle would then score on a nice feed from Martin Hanzal at the 14 minute mark to give Phoenix a lead that they would never relinquish. The goal also chased Peter Budaj from the game. With the goal and the assist on the Upshall goal, Yandle currently leads all NHL defenseman in total points heading into the break.
After Phoenix outshot Colorado 14-1 in the first 20 minutes, things would tighten up during the second period, with Colorado outshooting Phoenix 19-14. However, the Yotes were the only ones to light up the lamp. Eric Belanger would score just little over a minute into a period to give his team a two-goal advantage.
Colorado would outshoot Phoenix once again during the final 20 minutes, but the Coyotes still had the advantage on the scoreboard. Kyle Turis continued on with his recent hot play with a goal past Craig Anderson a few minutes past the halfway point of the period. All-Star Matt Duchene tried to make things interesting with a goal a few minutes later, but it was too little, too late for Colorado. Belanger would get the empty netter with 52 seconds left to seal the victory for Phoenix.
A victory to close out the first half of the season is always a good thing, especially a team that is right below you in the standings in the Western Conference. With the All-Star weekend finally here, everyone besides Yandle will be able to rest up for the stretch run of the season leading up to the playoffs. The Coyotes won’t play again until Tuesday in San Jose against the Sharks.