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NHL Game Summary - Pittsburgh at Phoenix



(Wednesday, February 25rd)

Final Score: Pittsburgh 4, Phoenix 3 (OT)

Glendale, AZ (Sports Network) - Ric Jackman's deflection goal 2:05 into overtime gave the Pittsburgh Penguins their first win in 19 games, a 4-3 victory over the Coyotes in Phoenix interim head coach Rick Bowness' first game at the helm.

The Penguins had lost 18 straight games (0-17-0-1) since a victory in Philadelphia on January 12. They were the first NHL team ever to lose 18 straight, but their mark wasn't a league record because an overtime setback on Valentine's Day in St. Louis gave them a point.

But all that's over now. Pittsburgh picked up three unanswered goals in this one to rally from a 3-1 second-period deficit. Josef Melichar, Ryan Malone and Aleksey Morozov also scored in the win, and Andy Chiodo picked up 28 saves between the pipes for his first NHL win.

"We've been in a lot of games and just haven't been able to shut the door, add to a lead or get the save," Penguins coach Ed Olczyk said. "It's so difficult to win in this league.

Phoenix, just 2-9-2-2 in its last 15 games, fired Bob Francis on Tuesday and installed Bowness as the interim head coach. The Coyotes are just 20-24-15-4 and in last place in the Pacific Division.

Jan Hrdina, Mike Sillinger and Cale Hulse scored goals for Phoenix, while goaltender Brian Boucher stopped just 18-of-22 shots.

Boucher had no real chance on the game-winner, which was set up by a faceoff win by Mike Eastwood inside the Phoenix zone. Eastwood sent the puck behind the right circle for Dick Tarnstrom, who wristed one on net that was re- directed in by Jackman for his fifth of the season.

"It's a great feeling," Jackman said. "We've been battling hard for the last couple games to try to get out of it. This was where it ends. We were tooth and nail right to the end and we got a win."

It was the Coyotes' first home loss to Pittsburgh since February 16, 1996. They are now just 4-8-3-3 this season since moving into Glendale Arena.

The Coyotes briefly held a 3-1 lead in the second period when Hulse scored with a slapshot from above the left circle 5:21 into the stanza.

"I let up that third goal [and] it was important to try to stay focused and not let it be a downfall in terms of momentum," Chiodo said.

But Pittsburgh closed out the period with two unanswered goals to tie it at 3-3 heading into the final 20 minutes of regulation.

Malone struck first just 1:46 after Hulse's tally, sprinting in front of the defense to pick up a loose puck in the Phoenix zone. He then beat Boucher stick-side with a wrister for his 19th of the season.

Morozov then evened things up on a 2-on-1 with Mike Eastwood in the period's final minute. Eastwood's initial shot from the left side was stopped by Boucher, but Morozov was there for the rebound with just 26 seconds remaining.

Then, in a scoreless third period, Chiodo and Boucher kept it deadlocked with four and six saves, respectively.

The opening period saw Phoenix grab a 2-1 lead when Hrdina and Sillinger followed Melichar's tally with back-to-back goals 3:54 seconds apart.

Hrdina's goal was the only power-play tally of the night.

Game Notes

The official NHL record of 17 consecutive losses was set by the Washington Capitals in 1975 and matched by San Jose in 1993...Pittsburgh kicked off a three-game road trip tonight and will travel to San Jose for Friday night's tilt...The Coyotes had won six straight over Pittsburgh...Jackman and Malone added assists for the Penguins.

02/26 01:04:01 ET


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