Coyotes stay unbeaten at home, edge Canucks in SO
GLENDALE, Ariz. -- The Phoenix Coyotes made internal commitments to defend home ice and maintain positive momentum this season. A month into the season, consider them two-for-two.
Center Antoine Vermette scored in the sixth round of the shootout to extend the Coyotes' winning streak to five games with a 3-2 victory over the Vancouver Canucks at Jobing.com Arena on Tuesday.
Vermette had the deciding goal in his second straight game, his shootout goal the decider in a 3-2 victory at San Jose on Saturday. The Coyotes have won their last three games in a shootout.
"When you play at home, you have to find ways to win," said Phoenix right winger Shane Doan, whose fifth goal of the season tied the game at 2 late in the second period. "Those points are huge. It's tough winning in their building. It has to be tough to win in ours.
"When you get rolling, you have to try to keep something going. We've talked about that, trying to keep things going and not having to start something up again."
Phoenix (11-3-2) is 7-0-1 at home, one of three teams undefeated at home in regulation. They Coyotes have won seven of their last eight games and have points in 12 of their last 13.
"We need to be strong on home ice," Coyotes coach Dave Tippett said. "If you look at all teams that have a chance to win a division or to be playoff teams, they all have a good home record.
"That is something we have talked about as a group, and we have to continue to push that. If we can establish and real good home feeling and make this a hard place to play, I think that carries over to your road record, too. We need to be strong at home."
The Coyotes are tied for second in the NHL with 24 points, one behind Anaheim. The four teams with the most points, and six of the top seven, are in the Western Conference.
Vancouver center Henrik Sedin lost control of the puck in front of the Coyotes' goaltender Mike Smith as the Canucks' last overtime shooter, after Coyotes right wing Radim Vrbata and Canucks winger Alex Burrows scored in the second round of the shootout. Smith recorded 31 saves.
"It bounced on me," Sedin said. "I don't know what happened. Too bad. I thought I had him moving over there. That happens sometimes."
Vancouver (10-6-1) had a three-game road winning streak snapped in the loss. The Canucks had won five of their last six.
Vancouver goalie Roberto Luongo made 30 saves.
"It was a really evenly matched game from both sides. As we saw, it 's a game of inches," Luongo said of Vermette's shot, which just rolled past the goal line. "The puck barely snuck in. I knew I got as piece of it with my pad. Wasn't quite sure which way the puck was spinning."
Vrbata gave Phoenix a 1-0 lead 75 seconds into the game when he re-directed a shot from center Martin Hanzal past Luongo from inside the left circle. It was the Coyotes' first shot on net and Vrbata's sixth goal, all at home.
"For me personally, it's sweet, because the last couple of seasons I was scoring more on the road. It's a little weird and a little different, but I'll take whatever I can," said Vrbata, who scored 11 of his 12 goals last season on the road.
Vancouver tied the game at 1 just 25 seconds into the second period when defenseman Dan Hamhuis put a wrist shot past Smith, and the Canucks took a 2-1 lead on center Ryan Kesler's ninth goal, a power-play goal at 4:15 of the second period. Henrik Sedin and his twin brother, left winger Daniel, had assists.
Henrik Sedin has points in 12 straight games and leads the NHL with 17 assists. He is tied for second in the league in scoring with 20 points. The Sedin twins signed matching four-year, $28 million contract extensions Friday.
The Coyotes tied the game at 2 when Doan beat Luongo on a one-timer at 17:39 of the second period. Luongo deflected a bad-angle shot by right winger David Moss toward center ice, where defenseman Keith Yandle picked it up and faked a shot before feeding an open Doan for his fifth goal of the season.
NOTES: Coyotes D Zbynek Michalek played in his 600th game Tuesday. He entered the game with four assists and 48 blocked shots, second in the league. ... Vancouver G Roberto Luongo entered the game with 64 shutouts, two away from tying former Colorado goaltender and current Avalanche coach Patrick Roy for 14th place in NHL history. ... Coyotes coach Dave Tippett (166) broke a tie with Bobby Francis for the most wins in franchise history Saturday in San Jose. Tippett did it in 309 games, Francis in 390. Wayne Gretzky is third, with 143 wins in 328 games. ... Phoenix D Derek Morris left the ice in the first period with a lower body injury and and did not return, leaving the Coyotes to rotate five defensemen. Morris had two goals and two assists in the last five games. ... The Coyotes signed amateur free-agent C Tyler Gaudet to a three-year entry-level contract Monday, adding depth in the middle.