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Canucks Down Coyotes On Hamhuis' OT Winner

After the disaster against the Vancouver Canucks just a few weeks ago, in which the Coyotes lost 6-0, it's safe to say that any improvement of that would have been a success when the two teams met on Tuesday night.

This one proved to be much closer, taking an overtime goal from Vancouver defenseman Dan Hamhuis for the Canucks to defeat the Yotes, 4-3, at Jobing.com Arena.

This one did belong to the Coyotes early on, though. They jumped out to an early lead against the NHL's best team, holding a 2-0 edge just over midway through the first period.

Eric Belanger had a hand in both, scoring on an unassisted goal, on a loose puck in the slot, to open up the scoring, before he added a helper on Shane Doan's power play goal, which put the Yotes up by a pair.

Much to the joy of the heavy Vancouver population at Jobing.com on Tuesday, much of the remainder of the game would belong to their Canucks, much of that due to Coyote blunders on the blueline.

The first goal for Vancouver came courtesy of Hamhuis, his first of two, to narrow the deficit to 2-1 after the first period.

From there, all the Canucks would need is a little help from the Phoenix defense. With the back line unable to clear the puck, Henrik Sedin was able to pot a power play goal to even the score. 

Perhaps the biggest break of the night for either team came when Sami Salo launched a shot, which would have went wide, if it had not been for Michal Rozsival in front of the net. The puck went off of Rozsival's shoulder and past Ilya Bryzgalov. Unfortunately for Rozsival, both assists went to the Sedin twins.

The two sides would play to a scoreless third before heading to the overtime period. Seeking their second consecutive win in the extra frame, the Coyotes managed a pair of shots on goal, but the Canucks would need only one. Hamhuis scored, courtesy of the Sedins again, to give the Canucks the 4-3 win.

Despite the loss, grabbing that point does play favorable into the Coyotes' hand. Though still in sixth, their 79 points are tied with the division rival Dallas Stars for fifth-best in the Western Conference, just one behind the Chicago Blackhawks.

The Coyotes have another big test awaiting them on Thursday, when they host the Calgary Flames, who are also jockeying for a playoff spot.