GLENDALE, Ariz. — A three-game home losing streak came to a close Thursday for the Phoenix Coyotes, who beat the lowly New York Islanders 6-3.
Phoenix, coming off of a strong 3-1 win over the Avalanche Tuesday, fell behind early thanks to a shot that was redirected in front of Smith. However, they answered back just 1:28 later with a power play goal from Keith Yandle and never looked back.
The Coyotes jumped out to a 4-1 lead in a hurry, scoring three goals in a 3:41 in the second period. However, the Isles fought back and to cut the Coyotes lead to 5-3 after 40 minutes.
Things got a little testy in the third period as the Isles grew increasingly more frustrated. Winger Kyle Okposo was given a 10-minute misconduct penalty with a little under two minutes remaining in the game.
The Coyotes nearly tied a season-high for shots in the first period. They took 17 shots, just one shy of the season-high of 18 set Friday in a loss to the Vancouver Canucks. The Coyotes also had a 17-shot period when they met the Islanders in New York on Oct. 8.
Goalie Mike Smith looked good after missing Tuesday’s game with the flu. He saved 21 of the 24 shots he saw.
The Coyotes used the fifth-ranked home power play in the NHL to their advantage. A little over a minute after the Isles went up 1-0, Keith Yandle fired a puck from the high slot that bounced off a New York defender and into the back of the net.
As good as the Coyotes were offensively in the second period, they were just as bad defensively. They allowed the Islanders to come back in just 1:23, when the Islanders scored two goals to make it 4-3.
After a disciplined first period, the Coyotes got sloppier as the game went on. They were called for two penalties in the second — one of which followed the Islanders’ third goal — and three in the third. New York went 0-for-3 on the power play.
– The Coyotes played their third straight game with out captain Shane Doan. He has an unknown illness and has been ruled out for the near future.
– Rob Klinkhammer set a personal best for single points in an NHL game on Thursday. His 2-1-3 was tied with Ribeiro (1-2-3) for the team lead.
– Three Coyotes players — Klinkhammer, Ribeiro and Mikkel Boedker (2-0-2) — posted multi-point games for the Coyotes.
– Defenseman Connor Murphy tallied his first NHL career assist on Klinkhammer’s first goal.
He Said It:
“We had two or three of those great chances (in the first period)…we didn’t score. We came out of it 1-1. It would have been easy to say, ‘Jeez, I can’t believe we don’t have the lead,’ but our guys stuck with it. That’s the sign that we’re doing things right that’s allowing us to win.” Coyotes head coach Dave Tippett on his club not getting down after missing several good chances in first period.
The Coyotes finish their quick two-game home jaunt Saturday when they host the Carolina Hurricanes at 6 p.m. MST. All the action can be heard on Arizona Sports 620.