Tuesday nights game was an emotional one for a variety of reasons. First, it was Kyle Turris' first time returning to the team who drafted him third-overall in 2007. Turris and the Coyotes organization had a sour end to an up-and-down relationship when the team traded him to Ottawa earlier this season after a lengthy holdout. Turris heard the boos from the Jobing.com Arena crowd every time he touched the puck.
Another reason for the tension was high in the building Tuesday was the desperation for a win. The 'Yotes had dropped eight of their last ten games coming in and were looking to go into the week-long all-star break on a good note.
The Coyotes forwards would play the role of garbage men against the Senators. The first Coyote goal would come at 18:52 of the first period when Gilbert Brule would put in a Mikkel Boedker rebound on a wide-open net. The goal sent the Coyotes to the locker room with the lead and momentum.
Kyle Chipchura and Zach Smith would start the second period with a bang, dropping the gloves on the opening face-off. The teams would battle hard but the games second goal would not come until 16:08 of the period when Shane Doan picked up a rebound that trickled by Ottawa goalie Craig Anderson and easily put it home for his 15th of the year.
Senator captain Daniel Alfredsson would answer less than two minutes later to make the score 2-1. It was his 17th of the year.
The third period would begin similar to how the second period ended, with the Coyotes taking a two-goal lead and then quickly having a goal scored against them. Radim Vrbata would put in the third Coyote second-chance goal on a Ray Whitney rebound 1:30 into the third, and Chris Neal would score low-blocker on Smith just 14 seconds later. The goals were Vrbata's 23rd of the year and Neal's ninth.
Ottawa would have multiple chances late in the third period but Smith would stand tall and get the Coyotes the win. Smith saved 32 shots Tuesday and capture his 18th win of the year. Anderson would stop 23 in the losing effort for the Senators.
The Coyotes have a full week off before facing the Anaheim Ducks next Tuesday, Jan. 31st. In the meantime Coyote fans can get their hockey fix from the NHL's all-star game events.
Here is a list of the events, as well as when and where you can find them on TV.
2012 NHL All-Star Game Fantasy Draft: Thursday, Jan. 26 on NBC Sports Network at 6 p.m.
2012 NHL Molson Canadian Skills Competition: Saturday, Jan 28 on NBC Sports Network at 5 p.m.
Skills competition includes: Fastest Skater, Breakaway Challenge, Accuracy Shooting, Hardest Shot, Skills Challenge Relay, and Elimination Shootout.
2012 NHL All-Star Game: Sunday, Jan 29 on NBC Sports Network at 2 p.m.