NHL Game Summary - Phoenix at Toronto
(Saturday, January 14th)
Final Score: Phoenix 4, Toronto 3
Toronto, ON (Sports Network) - Fredrik Sjostrom netted the game-winning goal early in the third period and the Phoenix Coyotes scored four unanswered goals to defeated the Toronto Maple Leafs, 4-3, at the Air Canada Centre.
Geoff Sanderson had a goal and an assist and Ladislav Nagy and Paul Mara each scored for the Coyotes, who have won their last two games. Shane Doan added three assists in the win.
Curtis Joseph, playing against his former team, made 25 saves in the victory for Phoenix, its first against Toronto since March 24, 1998 and its first win in Toronto since January 31, 1998. During that span the Coyotes had lost six consecutive games to the Maple Leafs and five straight in Toronto.
Carlo Colaiacovo had a goal and an assist and Jason Allison and Tomas Kaberle scored for the Maple Leafs, who have lost two straight and three of their last four games. Ed Belfour made 24 saves in the defeat.
Phoenix was trailing 3-2 going into the final 20 minutes, but the Coyotes took the lead with two goals separated by 13 seconds from Nagy and Sjostrom.
Nagy first lit the lamp at 4:02. Matt Jones let fly with a one-timer from the right point that went wide. However, the puck bounced off the back boards and came out front to the left side of the net and Nagy banged it past Belfour, who was looking the other way, to even the game.
"Playing with Nagy is great," said Doan. "I put him in the top five guys of the league. "When he has the puck he makes it a lot of fun to play with him."
Sjostrom then scored a short time later. Sanderson brought the puck into the zone after the faceoff and let fly with a shot from the left circle that Belfour knocked down with the glove. However, Sjostrom was left uncovered on the right side and he tapped the disc into the net.
Toronto tried to knot the game back up, but in the remaining minute the Coyotes kept the puck in either the neutral zone or in the Toronto end.
"We wanted to play easy," said Toronto coach Pat Quinn. "We thought it was going to be a cakewalk and we played like it. Simple as that."
Toronto took advantage of Phoenix penalties in the first period to score three power-play goals.
Kyle Wellwood backhanded a pass from down low on the right side to Allison at the right circle. Allison one-timed it over Joseph's glove at the 9:28 mark.
A little over four minutes later, Colaiacovo tapped in a pass from Mats Sundin on the right side of the net to make it a 2-0 game. On a 4-on-3, Sundin set up the final tally of the period when he sent a pass from the left circle to Kaberle high in the slot and Kaberle let fly with a blast that went into the right corner of the net with 36 seconds left.
However, the Coyotes got back into the game with back-to-back power play goals separated by 16 seconds in the second period.
Doan faked a shot from the left circle and got the puck to Mara at the top of the right circle. Mara one-timed the puck and it tipped off of a Toronto stick into the net at the 6:21 mark for a 4-on-3 goal.
Right off the ensuing faceoff, Oleg Saprykin brought the puck into the Toronto zone and let fly with a shot from low in the left circle that Belfour made a save on. The disc popped into the air, landed on the ice on the right side of the net and Sanderson smacked it in to make it a 3-2 game.
Phoenix returns home for a game against the Capitals on Monday...The Maple Leafs go back on the road to face Colorado on Tuesday...It was the first time this season that Toronto scored three power play goals in a period...Phoenix defenseman Sean O'Donnell served the second of a two-game suspension for getting his third instigator penalty of the year in Ottawa during the team's 7-2 loss on Tuesday...The Maple Leafs are 15-1-1 when leading after two periods.
01/14 22:40:50 ET