Things looked grim when the Phoenix Coyotes went into the first intermission down 3-0 to the Los Angeles Kings, but Radim Vrbata and Shane Doan combined for four goals to bring the Desert Dogs back from the brink of a blowout to win in a shootout Tuesday.
Ray Whitney and Mikkel Boedker scored for Phoenix in the shootout to secure the win.
Mike Smith has had a stellar February, so it was unusual to see the Coyote goaltender lit up for three goals in the first period. Coach Dave Tippett however did not lose faith in his goalie and left him in for the remainder of the game. Smith would end up stopping 25 in the win, and coming up clutch in the shootout stopping two of the three Kings shooters.
Not enough can be said about the tear Vrbata has been on this month as well. He has tallied 12 points (7 goals, 5 assist) during the Coyotes February win streak.
The power play was in rare form tonight for the 'Yotes. The usually ineffective Coyotes man-advantage unit put in three goals, including the game tying goal with less than three minutes left Tuesday.
The turning point of the game came when Kings winger Kyle Clifford was ejected from the game with 6:13 left for a questionable hit that sent Gilbert Brule to the ice and the remaining Coyotes in a frenzy to back up their fallen teammate.
Keith Yandle was given a minor for roughing, but Clifford was given a major penalty for intent to injure. This gave the Coyotes three minutes with the man-advantage and a great opportunity to tie it up.
Teams should know by now that the worse Coyote to give open ice to in a clutch situation is Vrbata. Vrbata took a puck from behind the net, waited for Jonathan Quick to drop and went bar down to tie it up. The goal was Vrbata's 30th of the year continues to build on a career year.
The Coyotes are now four points ahead of the Kings in seventh place and four points behind the Chicago Blackhawks, who also won Tuesday against Detroit.
The Coyotes will look to extend their season-high nine-game point streak to ten against the Calgary Flames on the road Thursday. The puck drops at 7 p.m. and can be seen on Fox Sports Arizona.