One thing you can say about the Coyotes, they sure aren’t boring to watch. Phoenix got their sixth straight victory last night by beating the Thrashers 4-3 for their third straight one-goal victory and their fourth overall during this current streak.
The Coyotes clearly weren’t at their best in this one. They didn’t play well defensively like they have been during this streak, they allowed Atlanta to score two power play goals in four attempts and allowed 36 shots on Ilya Bryzgalov. With how hot the Coyotes are at the moment though, they still found a way to pull this one out.
One of the keys to the past couple of weeks has been taking the early lead and they did that again last night. Eric Belanger scored on an Atlanta turnover in their own zone. The goal also came shorthanded because of a Thrashers delayed penalty. Chris Thorburn would tie things up though on the man advantage a little more than a minute later. Shane Doan would retake the lead for his Coyotes after he got a lucky bounce off the boards right to his stick and shot it past Ondrej Pavelec for his 12th netter of the season.
Things would go back and fourth once again between the two teams during the second period with both splitting two goals. Thrashers captain Andrew Ladd would tie it up on the power play for his 20th goal of the season just four minutes in. Atlanta would then take their one and only lead of the game after Rich Peverly scored for his 14th netter on the year.
It was all Phoenix on the scoreboard from that point on in the period though. Lauri Korpikoski would tie things up for the third time on the night at the 16th minute mark of the period. Martin Hanzal’s goal a few minutes later, just 26 seconds before the end of the period, would be the game winner. The goal was assisted by Keith Yandle for his third point of the night.
Phoenix had to hold off a tough Atlanta rally throughout the final 20 minutes. It was that much more difficult when Phoenix had only five defensemen throughout the period after Ed Jovanovski suffered a facial injury in a collision during the second period. The Coyotes also had to kill off a penalty late in the period because of a Doan cross check. The Thrashers had a 6-4 advantage because of the penalty and Pavelec going to the bench to gain another man for the better part of a minute, but were unable to tie things up before a Dustin Byfuglien penalty effectively ended Atlanta’s surge with 25 seconds remaining.