On a night that wasn't short on storylines, the only thing that mattered for the Phoenix Coyotes was the 'W'. Playing for their eighth win in a row, a season high, the Coyotes put on one of their better performances of the season, besting the Eastern Conference best Philadelphia Flyers, by a 3-2 count.
While it wasn't the physical game that many might have expected, it was a tight one throughout, with both teams seeing chances early on. Playing without Ray Whitney, Adrian Aucoin, and Ed Jovanovski, the Coyotes compensated well and kept up with the Flyers throughout.
Just one goal was scored in the first period, at the misfortune of Sami Lepisto. The game's opening goal went off of Lepisto's skate and past Ilya Bryzgalov, which was later credited to Ville Leino.
Depsite the lack of scoring in the second period, the intensity did pick up for both sides. Each squad was hit with a trio of penalties a piece, with each of them getting fighting majors for a bout between Jody Shelley and Nolan Yonkman in the second period.
One could say the equalizer in the third for Phoenix was courtesy of Mikkel Boedker, despite the fact that it came off of a Eric Belanger stick. Boedker dumped the puck into the offensive zone, fought off Kimmo Timmonen, who was draped all over the young Dane, before dishing it to Belanger in the slot for the 1-1 tie.
Midway through the period, the Coyotes struck again. Taylor Pyatt caught Philadelphia netminder Sergei Bobrovsky off guard, firing a wrist shot from the side, which made its way past the young Russian for the 2-1 lead.
Turnovers near the end of the game would cost the Coyotes, though. A turnover right in front of their own net led to a Claude Giroux goal, which would force overtime.
In overtime, the captain, playing in his 1,098th game, tied for the all-time franchise lead, made his presence known at Wells Fargo Center. After Radim Vrbata missed a chance, Bobrovsky gave up a rebound which made its way from Vrbata, to Keith Yandle, to Doan, who flipped it into the Philly net for the 3-2 win.
With the win, the Coyotes distance themselves in the standings a bit from fifth place, though the San Jose Sharks won to stay just a point behind Phoenix, in fourth.
Phoenix will look to gain ground on the Sharks, if they can beat the Tampa Bay Lightning on Wednesday, and the Sharks lose in Pittsburgh.