Captain Shane Doan's goal with just over a minute remaining in overtime capped an impressive come from behind victory for the Phoenix Coyotes over the struggling Detroit Red Wings.
After Doan took an unnecessary roughing penalty with just over five minutes left in the game, that Detroit capitalized on with a power-play goal, he was out to redeem himself. And Captain Coyote did just that. Doan skated in from the corner and threw a pass to Matthew Lombardi, who then tapped it towards the net, where Doan picked it up, skated across and put the puck in a nearly wide open net.
This was the icing on the cake from a two goal deficit with two minutes remaining in the game. The game looked just about out of reach for the Yotes, when Darren Helm took a hooking penalty just under the two minute mark. The Coyotes quickly took advantage of the penalty and pulled goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov to give them a two man advantage, where Keith Yandle scored his second goal of the game with a blast from the blue line.
Then just over a minute later Yandle dumped a rolling puck into the zone, where Doan was waiting patiently behind the net and decided to toss it in the center of goaltender Jimmy Howard. Howard got confused and lost sight of the puck where Ed Jovanovski found it and tucked it in to the tie the game. This sent the Coyotes on the ice and on the bench into a overdose of excitement. The assist was Doan's third of the game.
From that point on the momentum was on the Coyotes side and they finished it off in the extra period thanks to the heart and soul of the Phoenix Coyotes, captain Shane Doan. Doan's four points put him back on top of the Coyotes scoring race with 38 points, which sadly is half of what league leader Henrik Sedin has. But it doesn't matter who is getting the points, as long as the team keeps winning. The way an optimist looks at it is, if they are winning and the team leader in points has half of the league leader, then that means they are getting contributions from the ENTIRE team. And who can complain with that?
This win also gave the team a comfortable cushion for the fifth place spot in the Western Conference, putting them a full win(or two points) ahead of the Los Angeles Kings. The overtime loss gae the Wings one point and moved them into 8th place in the West, but they have since lost that spot to the Flames, the Coyotes next victim opponent.
The Coyotes made the season series between the Wings an even split with their victory Tuesday night, something they have not been able to do since the 05-06 season. It was that season that the Coyotes last defeated the Red Wings in Hockeytown, so last night was not just important for the standings, but it was important for the morale of the team.
The Red Wings have always been one of the biggest rivals for the Coyotes, most likely because there are usually more Red Wings fans during games played in Phoenix between the two. It could always been seen as a David vs Goliath match when the two teams meet, but the tides are starting to turn. The Coyotes are proving time and time again that they are ready to challenge for a playoff position every year, and they have the prospects in the system to prove that they will be able to challenge for years to come.
The Coyotes look to “help” the Red Wings, if you must think of it that way, when they take on the victory-challenged Calgary Flames Thursday night at “The Job”(Jobing.com Arena in Glendale). The Flames have now lost 8 in a row and are beginning to look a little “Burnt out” if you will. There was plenty of pun intended for that little knee slapper, but in all seriousness the Flames are a very strong defensive team with an all star goaltender in Miikka Kiprusoff.
Defensive teams are always a challenge for the Coyotes, who are not one's to be considered “goal-scoring” juggernauts, and they do not want to be THAT team that ends an eight game losing streak. The Coyotes need to use their defensive system that has worked so well this season so far, and stick it to the Flames, who have scored more then two goals in a game just twice in the month of January.
The Coyotes also won the last time the Flames visited, so lets keep make a streak out of this series, eh boy. GO YOTES!!!
About the Author
Written by Matt Shott
22 year old hockey fan born and raised in Phoenix, AZ. Weird, huh? Entire family minus myself and my brother were born in Toronto, ON so thats how I became a fan of this great sport. I have worked at Ice rinks since I was 14 and spend all day reading hockey stories. I eat, sleep, coach, play, and basically LIVE hockey. I became a Red Wing fan thanks to EA Sports NHL '95 and haven't looked back since (Why would I?). Parents were Season Ticket holders for the Phoenix Coyotes since day 1 and when they moved to Portland 3 years ago, I picked up where they left off and have found a soft spot for them. I moved to Toronto in January '10 to attend Centennial College's Sports Journalism program, so I am becoming a Maple Leafs fan in the process. Its hard to do after 16 years of being a Red Wings fan. So to recap: Wings fan at heart, Leafs fan on the outside, and always carry a soft spot for the Coyotes.