NHL Game Summary - Phoenix at Tampa Bay
(Tuesday, March 16th)
Final Score: Phoenix 2, Tampa Bay 1
Tampa, FL (Sports Network) - Ilya Bryzgalov stopped 27-of-28 shots to continue his recent stellar play, and the Phoenix Coyotes won their sixth straight game with a 2-1 victory over Tampa Bay.
With the win, the Coyotes set a new franchise record for wins in a season, topping the 1984-85 Winnipeg Jets with their 43rd win of the campaign.
Bryzgalov, who owns a league-best eight shutouts, has been on a roll of late allowing just five goals in his last five starts, which have all been wins and include two whitewashes. Vernon Fiddler and Mike Lombardi scored the goals for the Coyotes, who have recorded their second six-game win streak of the season.
Lee Stempniak, acquired at the trade deadline from Toronto, had an assist for Phoenix to extend his points streak to seven games.
"I think everybody is (contributing), and that's why we're so successful this year," Fiddler said. "Everybody's bringing something different -- it doesn't matter if you're a checker or an offensive guy. Our goaltending is great, defense is playing well and everybody's pulling on the same rope."
Todd Fedoruk scored the only goal for the Lightning, who have lost nine of 11 to fall six points behind Boston for the last playoff spot in the East. Antero Niittymaki made 26 saves, but it wasn't enough to secure the win.
Stempniak was key in helping the Coyotes get on the board, feeding Fiddler from behind the net; Fiddler quickly fired a one-timer past Niittymaki's stick into the left side of the net at 7:56 of the opening period.
Less than two minutes later, Phoenix made it 2-0 on Lombardi's tally. Wojtek Wolski and Lombardi worked a perfect give-and-go, with Lombardi taking a pass down the slot and tucking it between Niittymaki's legs at 9:45.
Bryzgalov made eight stops to keep Tampa Bay off the board, but an unlucky bounce got the Lightning a goal in the second.
Brandon Bochenski fired a shot from the left side, and Fedoruk tipped it toward the net. The puck glanced off the post and hit Bryzgalov's left pad before trickling into the net.
"I don't think we got enough traffic in front of (Bryzgalov)," Bochenski said. "You can see we weren't getting second chances. We weren't getting pucks through to the net, and we weren't getting enough second chances."
The Lightning had a pair of power-play opportunities early in the third, but Phoenix was able to ward off the attack. Bryzgalov finished with seven saves in the third, and Tampa Bay was unable to put together a string of chances late despite pulling the goaltender in favor of an extra attacker.
Phoenix has outscored its opponents by a 20-7 margin during its winning streak...Tampa Bay's Steven Stamkos has failed to record a point in three straight games following an 18-game point streak...The Coyotes are 18-12-3 on the road, while Tampa Bay fell to 18-10-6 at home, including 0-2-0 during a four-game homestand...The Lightning's Ryan Malone missed his third game in four contests with an uppper-body injury and underwent a minor surgery on his knee earlier Tuesday.
03/16 23:09:20 ET