Perhaps this wasn’t the best time to challenge the Pacific Division-leading Anaheim Ducks.
Not with the Coyotes’ fourth line shouldering the offensive load and the Ducks performing like a legitimate contender in the Western Conference, collecting points in all but three games.
But, ready or not, the chance to trim the 10-point gap between the Ducks and Coyotes in the division standings was available.
And the test, which will continue in an unusual three-game series, seemed to be just the jolt the Coyotes needed as they rallied for a 5-4 shootout win in front of 15,227 Saturday at Jobing.com Arena.
“They’re at the top of our division, and we’re trying to scratch and claw and get up there,” coach Dave Tippett said. “That’s two valuable points for us. It’ll be another two valuable ones on Monday.”
With 10 different Coyotes contributing at least a point and the top three lines adding goals, this was the response Tippett had been waiting for after all three units have been outshined recently by the fourth line.
Winger Steve Sullivan was the poster boy for the inconsistency, but he called for overtime when he scored his first goal in 14 games at 13:31 of the third period to make it 4-4 and then served up an encore with the lone shootout goal.
“That’s what I was brought here to do, to help on the offensive side of the puck, and it wasn’t going in,” Sullivan said. “So I felt a lot of pressure.”
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Arizona Republic | Mar 3