Hit on Jovo ignites Coyotes to third straight win


After a couple of sluggish periods, the Coyotes opened up the game by getting four goals during the third period to go and beat the Toronto Maple Leafs 5-1 for Phoenix’s third straight victory to open up a four-game homestand.

Phoenix got the scoring going early. Just a little more than two minutes into the game, Radim Vrbata gave his team a 1-0 lead on the power play.  The goal was the first man goal advantage goal for the Yotes during the entire month of January. Vrbata now has goals in back-to-back games. Before scoring the other night, he had gone eight straight games without scoring a goal.

Toronto pretty much dominated play after the Vrbata goal, but they weren’t able the puck past Ilya Bryzgalov. The Leafs outshot the Coyotes 17-12 during the two periods and Toronto spent a good portion of their time playing with a man advantage, but the Leafs weren’t able to take advantage.

The game turned around for the Desert Dogs late in the second period. Leafs forward Mike Brown gave Ed Jovanovski an elbow to Jovanovski’s jaw. No penalty was called because no ref for some reason hadn’t seen the cheap shot hit. The Coyotes defenseman was sent straight to the ice after the hit. After about a moment, Jovo got back to his feet and went straight to Brown to retaliate. Some pushing and shouting took place, but nothing serious happen. The tempers continued to flare when the two teams started to tussle after a whistle blew. The tussle resulted in four penalties to close out the period and certainly left the game with a different feel.

It was all Phoenix during the third period. Shane Doan started the goal scoring party with his 11th goal of the season just a little more than a minute into the period. Taylor Pyatt and Lauri Korpikoski would have goals about five minutes apart from each other to give the Coyotes a four-goal lead with only 10 minutes left. Bryzgalov’s near shutout came to an end when Colby Armstrong scored with just under four minutes remaining. However, Keith Yandle would bump up the Phoenix lead to four on an empty netter with 41 seconds remaining.