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(Wednesday, January 23rd)
Final Score: Phoenix 5, Columbus 1
Glendale, AZ (Sports Network) - Steve Sullivan's first hat trick in more than three years paced the Phoenix Coyotes in a 5-1 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets.
Sullivan's last 3-goal game occurred in a 5-3 win over the Jackets on Dec. 14, 2009 when he played for the Nashville Predators.
Oliver Ekman-Larsson added two scores and one assist for the Coyotes, who posted their first win in three tries this season.
"We really wanted this game tonight. Obviously starting 0-2 in a shortened season, we knew this was huge for us," Sullivan said.
Jason LaBarbera picked up the win in relief, making 21 saves. Mike Smith got the start, but departed after only 11 minutes and four stops with an undisclosed injury.
Fedor Tyutin scored the lone goal for the Blue Jackets, who had won and lost in shootouts prior to Wednesday's regulation setback.
Steve Mason was blitzed for all five scores on 42 shots in defeat.
"We were terrible. It didn't matter who was in (net). It could have been Patrick Roy," Columbus forward R.J. Umberger admitted. "We just didn't battle in front of (Mason)."
The Coyotes had a prime chance to break open the game with 3:20 played in the third period as Columbus was whistled for simultaneous tripping calls.
Sullivan ripped one home from the high slot for a 3-1 game just over a minute into the 2-man advantage.
Sullivan capped his trifecta with a casual tip-in of a Derek Morris drive from the right point to make it 4-1 with 9:59 remaining.
Ekman-Larsson netted his second of the game with 4:58 left in regulation.
Smith was replaced by LaBarbera with nine minutes to play in the first period, appearing to favor his blocker side after turning away a shot.
Tyutin's blast from the left point provided Columbus with the first score of the game, coming at the 5 1/2 minute mark of the second period.
Sullivan's rebound try from the left side evened the game with 7:27 played, and Phoenix led by a goal after a slapper from Ekman-Larsson found the back of the net almost eight minutes later.
Sullivan improved his career numbers against Columbus to 19 goals and 29 assists in 48 games ... Columbus won three of the four meetings last season, splitting a pair in Arizona ... Ekman-Larsson posted his first career three- point game and registered his first multi-goal effort since Oct. 15, 2011 vs. Winnipeg.
01/24 01:55:54 ET
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