NHL Game Summary - Phoenix at Edmonton|
(Tuesday, February 27th)
Final Score: Phoenix 3, Edmonton 0
Edmonton, AB (Sports Network) - Curtis Joseph made 26 saves to lead the
Phoenix Coyotes to a 3-0 win over Edmonton on the night that the Oilers
retired legendary Mark Messier's No. 11 at Rexall Place.
The Oilers were completely outplayed from start to finish, but it didn't seem
to matter much to the home crowd, which stood and cheered throughout the 50-
plus minute ceremony that concluded when Messier's jersey was lifted to the
Owen Nolan, Yanick Lehoux and Steve Reinprecht scored for Phoenix, which has
won two of three on the heels of a six-game skid (0-5-1). Joseph notched his
fourth shutout of the season and 51st of his career.
The selected game to honor Messier was not an accident, as current Phoenix
coach Wayne Gretzky was obviously in the arena and watched emotionally as his
longtime friend and former teammate joined he and only four other players --
Al Hamilton, Jari Kurri, Grant Fuhr and Paul Coffey -- to have their numbers
retired by Edmonton.
"I want to thank the Oiler organization for putting this date on the calendar
when Phoenix was going to be in town because the night wouldn't have been the
same without Wayne being here," Messier said. "Wayne was our leader. He was
our inspiration. He was a guy that we leaned on and he never let us down and
he never put himself above anybody. I certainly learned a lot from Wayne."
A native of Edmonton, Messier began his NHL career in 1979 with the Oilers and
was named the Conn Smythe Trophy winner as the playoff MVP when Edmonton won
its first Stanley Cup in 1984. Messier went on to win four more Cups with the
Oilers and is the second all-time leading scorer in NHL history with 1,887
points (694 goals, 1,193 assists), behind only Gretzky.
The other major news from the Oilers was the departure of longtime forward
Ryan Smyth, who was dealt to the New York Islanders prior to Tuesday's trade
Smyth, who was traded in exchange for young forwards Robert Nilsson and Ryan
O'Marra and a first-round pick in the 2007 draft, spent his entire career with
the Oilers and was the club's leading scorer this season with 31 goals and 53
points. Smyth could return to the club when he becomes a free agent on July 1.
He was one of the most popular players ever to play for Edmonton and has
scored the fifth-most goals in franchise history.
Dwayne Roloson allowed three goals on 32 shots in the loss.
The visitors opened the scoring on Nolan's power-play goal at 13:52 of the
first period. Shane Doan won a faceoff inside the left circle and the puck
went back to Derek Morris at the right point. Morris then passed to Nolan
inside the left circle and Nolan's wrist shot flew past Roloson, who was
screened in front by Jeremy Roenick.
In the early stages of the middle session, Lehoux's first goal -- also a
power-play marker -- made it 2-0. Defenseman Jeff Taffe held control at the
right point and released a shot that deflected off Morris and caromed into the
left circle, where Lehoux corralled the disc and lit the lamp with a wrist
shot at the 4:34 mark.
Reinprecht's seventh goal of the season over four minutes later capped the
scoring and Joseph shut the door the rest of the way.
The Coyotes were also busy Tuesday on the trading front. Phoenix sent veteran
forward Georges Laraque to Pittsburgh for forward Daniel Carcillo and a third-
round pick in the 2008 draft, shipped forward Oleg Saprykin to Ottawa for a
2008 second-round draft pick and acquired defenseman Brendan Bell and a
second-round pick in 2008 from the Toronto Maple Leafs in exchange for center
Yanic Perreault and a 2008 fifth-round pick. The club also signed center Kevyn
Adams to a one-year contract.
The Oilers are the second team to have retired Messier's number. The New York
Rangers also raised his sweater to their rafters last year...Edmonton fell to
18-12-2 at home this season...Phoenix snapped a five-game skid on the
road...The Coyotes were 2-for-3 on the power play and held the hosts scoreless
on four power-play chances...Nolan has 15 goals this season...Morris and Doan
both notched two assists...Attendance was 16,839.
02/28 01:03:12 ET