Coyotes keep rolling, run streak to 12

Associated Press  |  Last updated February 29, 2012
Mike Smith stopped 39 shots, Ray Whitney scored in the third period and during the shootout, and the Phoenix Coyotes extended their point streak to 12 games with a 2-1 win over the Vancouver Canucks on Tuesday night. Smith allowed a goal on a carom in the first period, but nothing else. He stopped Alexander Edler and Mason Raymond in the shootout to extend his career-best and franchise-record winning streak to 11 games. Whitney scored in the third period to tie it and Mikkel Boedker sealed Phoenix's sixth straight win with a nifty move to beat Cory Schneider in the shootout. The Pacific Division-leading Coyotes have won seven straight home games. Edler scored in the first period and Schneider stopped 34 shots, but allowed goals on two of three shots in the shootout. The NHL-leading Canucks were one of the busiest teams at Monday's trade deadline, pulling off three deals they hope will add balance, size and toughness. The trades with Columbus, Anaheim and Buffalo netted Vancouver four players: checking-line center Samuel Pahlsson, rookie forward Zack Kassian, defenseman Marc-Andre Gragnani, and forward Andrew Gordon. Gragnani didn't play, but the rest of the new guys were in the lineup against Phoenix. The Coyotes were quiet at the deadline, fearful of disrupting the chemistry of a team that had gone 10-0-1 in February. Phoenix picked up center Antoine Vermette from Ottawa for a second-round draft pick last week, but that was it for the dealing. Once the puck dropped Tuesday night, these teams played like the NHL's points leader and its hottest team: players flying across the ice, crisp passes tick-tacking through the zones, and shots sailing in from all directions. Vancouver hit the post twice in the first 10 minutes and had a puck linger in the crease for what seemed like 10 seconds before it was cleared. The Canucks finally got a good bounce late in the period, when a shot by Edler from the right circle caromed off Coyotes defenseman Chris Summers, 9 seconds into a power play. The good chances kept coming in the second period. The goalies were too good for any of them to go in. Schneider stopped Vermette on a redirect midway through the period and sprawled out to keep the rebound from going in, too. He also made tough saves during a power play midway through, and stuffed Taylor Pyatt on a mini breakaway. Smith wasn't bad, either. He made difficult stops early in the second and did his best work late, sliding left to stop Kassian's one-timer on an odd-man rush, and getting back to block Mason Raymond on the rebound. He closed out the period with a snatching glove save on Daniel Sedin's shot from the left circle, keeping Phoenix within 1-0. After picking up the pressure in third period, Phoenix got a shot to go in against Schneider. Whitney scored midway through, gathering in a long rebound off a long shot by Keith Yandle and backhanding it in for the tying goal. The Canucks thought they had it won early in overtime on a 3-on-1 rush, but Smith stopped a one-timer on a pass between the Sedin twins. Kevin Bieska also hit the crossbar late. NOTES: Whitney has a six-game point streak. ... The Canucks lead the NHL with 68 first-period goals. ... Vancouver, the NHL's fifth-best team on the penalty kill, turned aside all four of Phoenix's advantages.
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