After a blowing a two-goal lead in the first game of their four-game road swing Saturday night in the nation’s capital, the Phoenix Coyotes came into their contest with the Tampa Bay Lightning needing two points in the worst way.
While it required 65 minutes of hockey and a shootout goal from Radim Vrbata, the Coyotes earned those points with a 4-3 victory Monday night at the Tampa Bay Times Forum.
Here’s a look back at the shootout win by the numbers:
Newly-acquired left winger Martin Erat triggered a comeback in the third period with his first goal as a member of the Coyotes. Erat took advantage of a poor Victor Hedman pass, which took a fluky bounce off the net, and beat Tampa Bay goaltender Ben Bishop, who frankly never had a chance. The tally was just Erat’s second of the season.
Ondrej Palat was the primarily offensive force for the Lightning Monday. The second-year forward scored two goals on the night, good for his second multi-goal performance in his last eight appearances.
In his return to Tampa, Coyotes goaltender Mike Smith made 28 saves. But his three biggest stops game in the shootout, where he stoned Palat, Valtteri Filppula and Ryan Callahan to preserve the victory. The shootout win was Phoenix’s first since Nov. 9.
In the first 91 games of his career, Brandon McMillan only had 11 goals to his name. In his first six with the Coyotes, the 5-foot-11 left winger already has two.
Palat’s second goal of the night, which came with 38 seconds remaining, marked the eighth goal Phoenix has allowed in the third period in the last eight days.
Mikkel Boedker tallied his team-high 10th road goal of the season in Monday’s third period to briefly put Phoenix up 2-0. Before the goal, Boedker hadn’t lit the lamp in 13 straight games.
Defenseman Brandon Gormley made his NHL debut for the Coyotes and was more than adequate playing alongside Chris Summers. Gormley played 13 minutes and 22 seconds, blocked two shots and recorded two hits.
Radim Vrbata scored the lone goal in the shootout against his former team, giving him 35 in his 11-year career. The right winger now sits tied for second among active players on the NHL’s shootout goals list.
With two points Monday, Phoenix now sits in ninth place with 71 on the season. Because the Dallas Stars’ home affair with the Columbus Blue Jackets was postponed in the first period, the Coyotes sit just one point back of the Western Conference’s second Wild Card spot.