Phoenix Coyotes Cruise Past Vancouver Canucks in Shootout Victory

The Phoenix Coyotes beat the Vancouver Canucks 4-3 in dramatic fashion last night, ending the game with an Adrian Aucoin goal in the sixth round of a shootout and shutting down Vancouver's Mason Raymond in his attempt to send the shootout into a seventh round.

The Coyotes struck first, with a Lee Stempniak goal half way through the first period.

Vancouver responded with a Henrik Sedin goal in the final seconds of the first period, sending the game into the second period tied at one.

The Coyotes lost some momentum early in the second period after Vancouver put one on the board with a Sedin to Mikael Samuelsson goal less than a minute into the period.

About nine minutes later, after fighting off a Vancouver power play caused by Coyotes newbie Wojtek Woski's second penalty of the game, Taylor Pyatt found the back of the net, compliments of a great pass from Vernon Fiddler.

Going into the third, tied 2-2, the Coyotes scored early on another Stempniak goal less than a minute into the period,but Vancouver tied it up less than a minute later with a Christian Ehrhoff goal.

The remainder of the third period, as well as the five-minute overtime, was a scrappy but scoreless finish to regulation, with a near fight between Fiddler and Alex Burrows and three penalties for various offenses for each team.

With the game tied and overtime producing nothing, a shootout was necessary to decide the contest.

Vancouver goaltender Andrew Raycroft stopped his first two shots as Kyle Wellwood got the shootout scoring started for the Canucks with a quick wrist shot past Coyotes goalie Ilya Bryzgalov.

The Coyotes fired back with a goal from Radim Vrbata and after Bryzgalov shut down Samuelsson, the teams were back to even.
The next five shots resulted in goals, including what would be the game winner by Aucoin.

The 12th and final shot of the shootout, which if scored would have sent the game further into extended play, ended things after Vancouver forward Mason Raymond put the puck over the net and losing the game for Vancouver.

The Coyotes defense struggled at times during last night's game but the real -- if only -- problem the Coyotes have right now is still their power play.

The Coyotes went scoreless on three power plays last night and have only scored once in their last 23, which is something they will need to figure out quickly if they plan on making a legitimate run at the Stanley Cup this year.

The Coyotes hit the ice next on Saturday, when they head to North Carolina to take on the Carolina Hurricanes. 

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James King
Contact: James King