for this game

Bryzgalov leads surging Coyotes to rout of Leafs

Nov 25, 2007 - 8:16 AM
By Bob Huhn PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

GLENDALE, Arizona (Ticker) - The Phoenix Coyotes found themselves a goalie and some offense.

Ilya Bryzgalov stopped 25 of the 26 shots he faced and the Coyotes scored a season high four goals in the first period as they pounded the Toronto Maple Leafs, 5-1, on Saturday.

Four different players scored a goal in the opening session for Phoenix, which has now won four straight games and is above .500 (11-10-0) for the first time since October 4, opening night.

The Coyotes ignited their offensive barrage a little more than four minutes into the first period. Radim Vrbata took a slap shot from the right circle that was stopped by Maple Leaf goaltender Andrew Raycroft, but Daniel Winnik knocked in the rebound for his second goal of the season and a 1-0 lead.

"We would love to score first every night but it is easier said then done," Coyotes coach Wayne Gretzky said. "If you get down two or three goals you get on your heels and it becomes a hard game. We want to core on that first goal and capitalize on that and we have been doing that."

Phoenix wasted little time adding to the lead when Rookie Peter Mueller snuck a wrister past Raycroft at the 8:24 mark to give the Coyotes a 2-0 advantage. Raycroft earned himself an early trip to the showers as coach Paul Maurice pulled him after allowing two goals on seven shots, replacing him with Vesa Toskala.

"I didn't like the first goal at all. You can't give one up in a game like that," Toronto coach Paul Maurice said. "We couldn't survive that first period and rarely are you going to get into that big of a hole and dig yourself out."

It did not seem to matter who Toronto had in goal because Phoenix was on the offensive attack again, just 18 seconds later, scoring on the first shot Toskala faced, a wrister off the stick of Steven Reinprecht extending the Coyotes lead to 3-0.

Toronto got on the board with about four minutes remaining in the period on a slap shot by Kyle Wellwood that went though the legs of Bryzgalov, but Phoenix quickly regained their three-goal advantage, taking a 4-1 lead at the first intermission on a goal by Derek Morris.

"Everyone came out strong and we wanted to get in deep and throw some pucks on net," Mueller said. "It was definitely good to get those four goals quick and those two right after each other but it was huge to get that goal after they scored. To answer that one really quick was a big step for us."

Since being claimed off waivers on November 17, Bryzgalov who backed up Jean-Sebastien Giguere on the Stanley Cup champion Anaheim Ducks last season has gone 4-0-0 with a 1.30 goals-against average.

"When you get more game time, you feel more comfortable, you get into better game shape and the team starts believing in you," Bryzgalov said. "We are playing good hockey, we have been working hard and feel that we can win these games. We are moving in the right direction, and so far, the results speak for themselves."

Thanks to Bryzgalov's stellar play, Mikael Tellqvist has been reduced to a backup role, Alex Auld has been sent to the minors and David Aebischer - a starter in Colorado and Montreal - was loaned to a Swiss League team after being demoted earlier this season.

"He has been a man out there. When we needed a big save, he has made the big save," Gretzky said. "He truly is one of the pieces of the puzzle and he has helped us turn the team and franchise around, but it is just four games. We have a long way to go, but you can see his confidence and the players' confidence in him."

Phoenix kept the offense going in the second period. Vrbata tallied just two minutes into the session, giving the Coyotes a 5-1 bulge.

In relief of Raycroft, Toskala allowed three goals on 30 shots for Toronto, which has lost six of its last seven games.

"What do you say after a game like that?" said Mats Sundin, who leads Toronto in scoring. "We started the game on the wrong foot, three goals down as early as that in a game; we gave Phoenix some fuel for their fire. They were the better team, no doubt about it."








  • NHL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    TORONTO 1 0 0 1
    PHOENIX 4 1 0 5 FINAL
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: PHO - DANIEL WINNIK 2 (RADIM VRBATA, KEITH BALLARD) 4:16
    PHO - PETER MUELLER 6 (DANIEL CARCILLO, ZBYNEK MICHALEK)
    8:24
    PHO - STEVEN REINPRECHT 6 (SHANE DOAN, MIKE YORK) 8:42
    TOR - KYLE WELLWOOD 4 (JASON BLAKE, HAL GI

    Nov 24 9:34 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    TORONTO 1 0 1
    PHOENIX 4 1 5 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: PHO - DANIEL WINNIK 2 (RADIM VRBATA, KEITH BALLARD) 4:16
    PHO - PETER MUELLER 6 (DANIEL CARCILLO, ZBYNEK MICHALEK)
    8:24
    PHO - STEVEN REINPRECHT 6 (SHANE DOAN, MIKE YORK) 8:42
    TOR - KYLE WELLWOOD 4 (JASON

    Nov 24 8:43 PM


  • NHL
    TORONTO 1
    PHOENIX 5
    2ND PRD: PHO - RADIM VRBATA 8 (MARTIN HANZAL, DANIEL WINNIK) 2:05

    Maple Leafs vs. CoyotesNov 24 8:14 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    TORONTO 1 1
    PHOENIX 4 4 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: PHO - DANIEL WINNIK 2 (RADIM VRBATA, ED JOVANOVSKI) 4:16
    PHO - PETER MUELLER 6 (DANIEL CARCILLO, ZBYNEK MICHALEK)
    8:24
    PHO - STEVEN REINPRECHT 6 (SHANE DOAN, MIKE YORK) 8:42
    TOR - KYLE WELLWOOD 4 (JASON

    Nov 24 7:49 PM


  • NHL
    TORONTO 1
    PHOENIX 4
    1ST PRD: PHO - MIKE ZIGOMANIS 3 (DEREK MORRIS, KEITH BALLARD) 18:03

    Maple Leafs vs. CoyotesNov 24 7:46 PM


  • NHL
    TORONTO 1
    PHOENIX 3
    1ST PRD: TOR - KYLE WELLWOOD 4 (JASON BLAKE, HAL GILL) 16:44

    Maple Leafs vs. CoyotesNov 24 7:43 PM


  • NHL
    TORONTO 0
    PHOENIX 3
    1ST PRD: PHO - STEVEN REINPRECHT 6 (SHANE DOAN, MIKE YORK) 8:42

    Maple Leafs vs. CoyotesNov 24 7:32 PM


  • NHL
    TORONTO 0
    PHOENIX 2
    1ST PRD: PHO - PETER MUELLER 6 (DANIEL CARCILLO, ZBYNEK MICHALEK) 8:24

    Maple Leafs vs. CoyotesNov 24 7:28 PM


  • NHL
    TORONTO 0
    PHOENIX 1
    1ST PRD: PHO - DANIEL WINNIK 2 (RADIM VRBATA, ED JOVANOVSKI) 4:16

    Maple Leafs vs. CoyotesNov 24 7:17 PM