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NHL Game Summary - Atlanta at Phoenix



(Monday, December 5th)

Final Score: Phoenix 5, Atlanta 2

Glendale, AZ (Sports Network) - Mike Johnson had two goals and an assist, as the Phoenix Coyotes scored four times in the third period to beat the Atlanta Thrashers, 5-2, at Glendale Arena.

Mike Comrie had a goal and two assists and Paul Mara and Boyd Deveraux scored for the Coyotes, who have won their last two games. Curtis Joseph made 27 saves in the victory.

Marian Hossa and Vyacheslav Kozlov scored goals for the Thrashers, who have lost four straight for the second time this season. Michael Garnett made 26 saves in the loss.

The Coyotes were trailing 2-1 going into the third period, but scored three goals separated by 3:54 to take the lead.

Mara sent a wrist shot from the high slot that went through a screen and between Garnett's pads at the 2:45 mark. On the next goal, Ladislav Nagy picked the puck up behind the net, fought off a defender and made a backhand pass across the goal crease to Johnson on the right side of the net. His one- timer with 15:43 to play gave the Coyotes their first lead of the night.

"We realized the effort we were giving in the first two periods in the battles and the intensity was not there," said Johnson. "We realized we needed to turn it up and we did and got some pucks in the net."

A wrist shot from Zbynek Michalek at the right point was slowed down by Garnett, but the puck trickled under him and Deveraux poked it in to give the Coyotes a 4-2 lead with 13:21 left.

An empty-net goal by Comrie with 44.7 seconds left sealed the victory.

"It was a hard fought victory," said Coyotes head coach Wayne Gretzky. "As I told the guys, 'you're not going to be feeling your best every night and you have to fight and battle your way through those nights.' I give them credit; it was a really nice victory."

Neither team managed to score in the first period and Atlanta outshot Phoenix 8-5, despite Phoenix having three power plays in the stanza.

The Thrashers took a 1-0 lead on a power-play goal. A Phoenix player turned the puck over behind the net and Kozlov picked it up. He skated to the front of the net and slipped the puck between Joseph's legs at the 6:13 mark of the second period.

Atlanta scored another power-play goal later in the period. Hossa brought the puck from the Atlanta end into the Phoenix zone, made a move to get around a Phoenix skater and fired a wrist shot from the slot that beat Joseph on the glove side with 8:51 left in the second stanza.

The Coyotes got on the board just 44 seconds later. Sean O'Donnell's left point shot was deflected by Johnson in front of the net to make it a 2-1 game.

"We started the third period on a power play and took a bad penalty and then it was tied up," said Thrashers coach Bob Hartley. "Winning hockey games is something you have to learn and unfortunately we are not there yet."

Game Notes

The Coyotes have off until Sunday when they will play in Boston...Atlanta will play at San Jose on Tuesday...Hossa's goal was the 200th of his NHL career...This was the only meeting of the season between the Thrashers and Coyotes. Phoenix has just one loss in 10 all-time meetings (8-1-1) with Atlanta...The Thrashers were 5-0 going into the third period with a lead before this game...Phoenix is now 2-8-1 when trailing going into the third period.

12/06 00:49:37 ET


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