NHL roundup: Friday’s action on the ice – Metro US

NHL roundup: Friday’s action on the ice

The Phoenix Coyotes have talked all year about controlling their emotions, putting the team before the individual, and coach Wayne Gretzky has driven home the point.

That proved true on Friday night as the Coyotes capitalized on a two-man advantage in the second period, scoring twice in the final 19 seconds to beat the Vancouver Canucks 4-3.

Late in the second period, Jeff Cowan took exception to an aggressive hit by Ed Jovanovski and tried to lure the defenceman into a fight. Cowan was assessed a double-minor on the play, which was made even worse a few seconds later when teammate Alex Burrows was given a delay of game penalty for putting his clearing attempt over the glass.

Jovanovski, who left Vancouver to sign with Phoenix after the 2004-05 season, gave the Coyotes a 2-1 lead with just 19 seconds left in the period when he gathered a loose puck off the boards and fired a wrist shot past Vancouver goalie Curtis Sanford.

Yandle made it a two-goal margin a few seconds later when he ripped a slapshot past Sanford from the top of the faceoff circle.

“That was huge. We talk about that all the time as a group,” said Phoenix captain Shane Doan. “We talk about controlling our emotions and putting the team first. That was huge by Eddie. He’s a fiery guy with lots of emotion. He is more than capable of taking care of himself, but he chose in that situation to show restraint and it ended up getting us a power play.”

Jovanovski had already taken a couple of minor penalties in the game, one of which led to the Canucks’ first goal.

“I know what he is out there for,” said Jovanovski of Cowan. “He’s a very tough kid, but we all know my history of injuries the last couple of years. I’m not going to fight him and break my hand. I understand what he is doing but I’ve also been told not to go out there and spend time in the penalty box.

“And you know what? The refs already had it out for me today anyways.”

Vancouver coach Alain Vigneault benched Cowan for the rest of the game after the incident.

“It’s not a matter of me being angry. It’s a matter of coaches and teammates being able to trust players in different situations. That was a mistake and that’s it,” Vigneault said.

“I’m pretty sure he would be the first one to tell you that that penalty is not acceptable. And he didn’t play after that.”

Elsewhere in the NHL, it was: Islanders 5 Flames 4, Blue Jackets 6 Blues 4 and Wild 5 Blackhawks 2.

At Vancouver, the Canucks managed to pull within a goal twice during the third period but were unable to tie the game, with Ilya Bryzgalov holding them at bay down the stretch.

Rookie Peter Mueller and Niko Kapanen also scored for the Coyotes.

Taylor Pyatt had two goals and Ryan Kesler score short-handed for the Canucks, who suffered their first home loss in regulation since Nov. 1. The Canucks were 12-0-2 in their previous 14 games at GM Place.

Phoenix outshot Vancouver 38-20.

Islanders 5 Flames 4

At Calgary, Mike Sillinger scored twice in regulation then once more in a shootout to help the New York Islanders to a victory over the Flames.

Blue Jackets 6 Blues 4

At Columbus, Ohio, Nikolai Zherdev scored twice in the last six minutes u one on a highlight-reel move that provided the go-ahead goal u and the Blue Jackets got some payback for a bad loss three days earlier, beating the St. Louis Blues.

Wild 5 Blackhawks 2

At Chicago, Josh Harding made 41 saves, Marian Gaborik scored two goals and the Minnesota Wild handed the Blackhawks their eighth straight loss.

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