for this game

Coyotes escape Vancouver with win

Mar 15, 2012 - 6:28 AM
Vancouver, BC (Sports Network) - Antoine Vermette had a goal and two assists to lift the Phoenix Coyotes to a 5-4 win over the Vancouver Canucks.

Ray Whitney had three assists while Shane Doan and Oliver Ekman-Larsson each posted a goal and an assist for the Coyotes, who have won two of three and moved a point ahead of Colorado for the seventh spot in the Western Conference. Mike Smith turned aside 39 shots in the win.

Also, with 81 points, Phoenix is just two back of Dallas for the top spot in the Pacific Division and third in the conference.

"It was a game we found a way to win and you feel like you're getting two extra points. It was huge for us," said Doan.

Alexandre Burrows posted a goal and an assist for the Canucks, who have dropped four of five and stay locked in at the second spot in the Western Conference. Roberto Luongo was tagged for all five goals on 33 shots.

Vancouver scored just 2:18 into the game on Burrows' 24th of the season and Ryan Kesler made it a 2-0 game at the 9:39 mark of the first with a one-timer over the shoulder of Smith for a power-play goal.

Phoenix, though, answered with two of its own in the first as Rostislav Klesla buried a rebound in the slot off a Vermette shot with 8:38 to play and Doan's 21st of the season with 3:40 left tied the game.

The Coyotes took a 3-2 lead at the 7:58 mark of the second on the power play as Ekman-Larsson's shot from the slot snuck through a screen.

The Canucks tied the game with 7:38 to play in the second off a give-and-go play between David Booth and Chris Higgins that saw Booth finish with a one- timer in the slot for a power-play goal.

However, it was Phoenix taking the lead into the final 20 minutes when Gilbert Brule chipped the puck into the net from the left side off a broken play with 1:19 to play.

Vermette gave the Coyotes an insurance goal just 1:38 into the third on a power play when he shot home the rebound of an Ekman-Larsson shot in the slot.

Vancouver got to within one with 7:49 to play after Dan Hamhuis banged in the rebound of a Daniel Sedin shot.

That was it, though, as the Canucks were unable to net the equalizer.

"Sometimes it's just a matter of how good you play," Canucks defenseman Kevin Bieksa said. "[The Coyotes] are a good team and they're playing well lately, obviously, and they got one more than us tonight."

Game Notes

Vancouver hosts Columbus on Saturday...Phoenix continues its four-game trip in Calgary on Thursday...Each club won twice in the season series...Phoenix was 2-for-2 on the power play while Vancouver was 2-for-3.