Found January 08, 2012 on Fox Sports Arizona:
Phoenix_coyotes_v_48bb
GLENDALE, Ariz. Shane Doan skated to the bench with a grim smile creasing his face. The clock was running out, and so was his strength. The Coyotes captain appeared destined for an individual NHL record that nobody wants the most career two-goal games without a hat trick. He had tried everything from voodoo to prayers to break the streak. He had even altered the bizarre, curved tape knob at the end of his stick the one Ray Whitney referred to as an "axe handle." Now, the fans at Jobing.com Arena were chanting his name. Coach Dave Tippett kept sending him back on the ice, where he logged 8 minutes and 51 seconds in the third period alone. And his teammates kept feeding him the puck. But Doan couldn't convert for that elusive third goal. "It was getting embarrassing," he said. In an ending befitting the nicest guy ever to lace up skates, Doan got one last crack off a cross-ice pass from Whitney. With one-tenth of a second left, he put every last ounce of his strength into a laser from the left circle, beating New York Islanders goalie Evgeni Nabokov between the legs for the final goal in Phoenix's 5-1 win Saturday night. But the drama didn't stop there. Because the goal came so late, officials had to review it to make certain it had beaten the final horn. "I went over and told the refs Listen, it's been a long time. It's been 16 years,'" Whitney said. "'Tell Toronto that this may never happen again, so make sure this counts.'" It did. And with that, No. 19 registered his first career hat trick in the Coyotes' 19th home game of the season, ending his dubious streak at 38 two-goal games without a hat trick. That ties the 16-year veteran with Petr Sykora for the most in league history. Doan fell just short of Scott Mellanby's 319 career goals without a hat trick. Doan has 308. "It was kind of cool it lasted as long as it did," he said. "It gave you a good story." It was an even better storyline given the Coyotes' recent struggles. Phoenix entered the game having lost six of its last seven to fall four points behind the final Western Conference playoff spot during a brutal stretch of the schedule. With the Eastern Conference's bottom feeders in town, Phoenix desperately needed this win. "The points are huge," Tippett said. "Hopefully our team will grab that and get a little boost from it." Doan has had more than his share of chances to break this dubious string. Defenseman Keith Yandle recalled a game when Doan scored two early goals then had a chance to net No. 3 into an empty net when Yandle passed the puck to him at the red line. "He had the whole zone to skate it in, but he decided to shoot it," Yandle said. Doan hit the post. "I almost puked," Yandle said. When Doan finally scored No. 3 on Saturday, his teammates mobbed him like they had just won the Stanley Cup while hats rained down from the stands. Yandle was concerned the Islanders would take offense to the wild celebration. "We didn't want to rub it in on their team, but I'm sure once they figure out why we did it, they'll understand," he said. In the locker room after the game, Yandle and Paul Bissonnette dumped all of the hats at Doan's feet to commemorate the unforgettable moment. "That would be hockey the hard way," Tippett said. "It was almost storybook," added longtime equipment manager Stan Wilson. Whitney was happy to see his teammate finally break the hex. And he professed with great certainty how Doan had written the final chapter. "Getting rid of the axe handle was the biggest key," he said.
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