NHL: Coyotes Grab Crucial Win Over Canucks
After Sunday’s debacle against the Blues, the Coyotes bounced back with a 1-0 win over the Vancouver Canucks Tuesday. Antoine Vermette scored the lone goal and Mike Smith had his 27th career shutout.
It was two struggling teams that met up in Jobing.com Arena. Earlier in the day, Canucks traded longtime starting goalie Roberto Luongo to the Florida Panthers. The Canucks didn’t look focused on the ice and the trade might have played a part in that.
Eddie Lack is now the new number one in Vancouver and he did his part in tonight’s game, saving 31 shots. The Canucks put 23 shots on Smith, but very few of those shots were good scoring chances as the Coyotes did a great job in forcing Vancouver to take shots from the outsides.
Vermette’s goal after 17:04 in the 1st period was definitely not his prettiest, but he showed great determination as he battled with a Canucks defenseman in front of the net and managed to bang the puck in of the goal line.
The remainder of the game was a pretty dull affair with Phoenix controlling the action. Canucks tried to make a push late in the 3rd period, but to no avail.
Phoenix are now in 4th place in the Pacific Division with 67 points, and with Dallas losing to Columbus, the Coyotes are only a single point behind the Stars for the last wildcard spot.
“I thought we did some things pretty well,” said coach Dave Tippett. “We created a lot of chances … It was kind of a sloppy hockey game, but we won and that’s all we needed right now.”
The Coyotes traded Rostislav Klesla, Chris Brown and a 4th round pick to the Washington Capitals for Martin Erat and John Mitchell. Erat is expected to land in Phoenix tomorrow and be on the ice for Thursday’s game against the Montreal Canadiens.