NHL Game Summary - Phoenix at Columbus
(Tuesday, March 21st)
Final Score: Phoenix 5, Columbus 2
Columbus, OH (Sports Network) - Shane Doan, Mike Johnson and Steven Reinprecht each had a goal and an assist as the Phoenix Coyotes downed the Columbus Blue Jackets, 5-2, at Nationwide Arena.
Fredrik Sjostrom and Mike Comrie also tallied goals for the Coyotes, who have won two straight and three of their last four games.
Curtis Joseph stopped 31 shots in the win for Phoenix. Also, Joseph picked up his 423rd career victory, which puts him in a tie for sixth place with Blackhawks legend Tony Esposito.
Adam Foote and Sergei Fedorov tallied goals and Pascal Leclaire stopped 31 shots in the loss for the Blue Jackets, who have dropped their fifth-straight game.
"The effort is there and guys are trying," said Foote. "That's a real good thing. We have to do the little things that change the momentum of games. We have to be stronger mentally and accept that challenge."
The Blue Jackets grabbed a 1-0 lead thanks to the power play. Good cycling behind the net enabled Rick Nash to get the puck and he fired a centering pass to Foote, who one-timed it from the slot into the right corner of the net 7:29 into the contest.
Columbus struck again during a scrum in front of the net when Fedorov poked the puck under Joseph's pads for his eighth goal of the season with 9:03 left in the opening 20 minutes.
The Coyotes, though, cut the score in half late in the first period. Oleg Kvasha brought the puck into the Blue Jackets zone and left a drop pass to Johnson at the top of the left circle. Johnson skated to the left face-off stripe and fired a wrister that knicked off of Leclaire's glove and into the net with 6.9 seconds left in the period.
Phoenix grabbed itself a 3-2 lead in the middle stanza.
Doan brought the puck around the net and, from the left side, threw a centering pass to Reinprecht, who one-timed it into the left corner of the net 6:12 into the period.
On the power play, Geoff Sanderson and Jamie Rivers were playing catch with the puck between the bottom and top of the right circle. From the top, Rivers slid the puck to the left circle where Doan one-timed it through a screen into the net with 10:09 left in the period.
The Coyotes gave themselves a two-goal advantage when Sjostrom poked in a rebound off a Reinprecht shot to make it 4-2 just 4:02 into the final period.
Phoenix iced the game with Comrie's 24th goal with 53.6 seconds remaining in the contest.
Columbus hosts Calgary on Friday...The Coyotes return home for a game against Chicago on Thursday...With the win Phoenix tied the season series, 2-2...Phoenix went 1-for-5 on the power play...The Blue Jackets were successful on one of their four man advantages...Nikolai Zherdev had two assists in the loss for Columbus...The NHL announced earlier on Tuesday that Columbus will host the 2007 NHL Entry Draft.
03/22 01:27:56 ET