NHL Game Summary - Phoenix at Toronto
(Thursday, December 19th)
Final Score: Toronto 2, Phoenix 1 (SO)
Toronto, ON (SportsNetwork.com) - James van Riemsdyk and Joffrey Lupul both scored in the shootout as the Toronto Maple Leafs defeated the Phoenix Coyotes, 2-1, at Air Canada Centre.
Van Riemsdyk slipped the puck through Mike Smith's five-hole on the backhand. Smith flew back into the net and did not allow the referees to see where the puck went. After a review, the goal was deemed to be good.
Mikkel Boedker beat James Reimer on a backhand shot, but two Toronto shooters later, Lupul lit the lamp after faking the shot and wristing the puck over the shoulder of Smith.
Troy Bodie netted Toronto's lone goal in regulation. Cody Franson and Peter Holland picked up the assists on the score and Reimer turned aside 34 shots as the Maple Leafs snapped a two-game skid.
"You're always looking for someone to step up for you. Obviously our goaltending has been strong for us. Tonight was another example of James Reimer stepping up. We're very fortunate to have him," said Maple Leafs coach Randy Carlyle.
Martin Hanzal tied the game late in the third and Smith stopped 26-of-27 shots in the loss. The Coyotes have now dropped three straight.
"We wanted to play a hard road game. Our tempo got better as the game went on. We had multiple opportunities in the third period to tie and then take the lead. We got the one we needed," said Coyotes coach Dave Tippett. "It's a step in the right direction. We're a little banged up and looking for some guys to elevate their game."
After hard work on the forecheck, the Leafs fourth line opened the scoring. They worked the puck back to Franson at the point, who fired the shot on net. Bodie got the rebound and slid the puck through Smith's pads on the backhand with 4:08 remaining in the first.
Hanzal tied the game with 4:52 left in the third. Rostislav Klesla worked the puck behind the net. Hanzal quickly gathered the puck and worked his way to the front of the net and scored on a wrap-around shot.
The Maple Leafs snapped a streak of six losses to the Coyotes ... Phoenix defenseman Derek Morris returned to the lineup for the first time since Dec. 4 after missing time due to a personal matter ... Coyotes forward Gilbert Brule made his season debut ... Phoenix plays in Ottawa on Saturday, while Toronto will host Detroit on Saturday.
12/19 23:36:09 ET