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Quick Strike In Third Period Leads Coyotes To Win Over Columbus

For some time on Tuesday night, it looked to be more of the same Phoenix Coyotes that we've seen in recent weeks. They held a two goal edge over the visiting Columbus Blue Jackets, but couldn't close. Had the Coyotes built up a lead and managed to lose on Tuesday, it would have been business as usual for Phoenix.

The Coyotes did build a lead against the squad from Columbus, striking twice in the second period to earn a 2-0 lead over their out-of-town foe. Scottie Upshall struck first for the Coyotes, bringing his team-leading goal total up to 11. 

Phoenix got another boost offensively from an unlikely source. After a chance for the Coyotes, Sami Lepisto snuck a rebound past Columbus netminder Mathieu Garon for his third of the year.

The lead was short-lived for Phoenix. R.J. Umberger scored a goal for his fourth consecutive game in the latter half of the second, to narrow the deficit. Almost eight minutes into the second, Jakub Voracek leveled the score with his eighth goal of the year.

After blowing a lead against the Minnesota Wild earlier this week, the Coyotes would not be denied the win on Tuesday. Shane Doan continued his torrid run with his 10th of the year. Doan also notched an assist to give him 12 points in this seven-game point streak.

Just 52 seconds later, Vernon Fiddler made an appearance with his fourth goal of the year. It was just the second game Fiddler had scored in, with all three coming in his hat trick performance earlier this season.

The win set the Coyotes off on the right foot in the second half of the season, as well as prepared them for a Western Conference showdown with the Colorado Avalanche. While Tuesday's win wasn't a blowout, it gave the Coyotes some much needed confidence as they prepare to head down the home stretch.