Time to howl again
Last night, the preseason got underway for the Coyotes at Anaheim's Honda Center.
After a relatively quiet first period where they spent most of their time shorthanded, Phoenix got themselves on the board four times in the second period to lead them to a 4-1 victory over the Ducks.
Kyle Turris came out in a big way by opening the score on the powerplay and adding a helper on Viktor Tikhonov's goal just before the end of the period. He is in a battle for the much-coveted position at centre that eluded him last year and that he doesn't intend to let slip away again.
Turris' linemate Scottie Upshall saw his first action since January, notably collecting as many hits as shots on goal (3) as well as a substantial amount of ice time. By all accounts, he much rather preferred the ice to the broadcast booth. He was also one of two assistant-captains along with the recently-acquired Eric Belanger.
Other goals were scored by Andrew Ebbett and Brett MacLean for Phoenix. Bobby Ryan responded with the lone tally for the Ducks.
Quietly making an impact was defenseman Sami Lepisto, who collected two assists. He also played 21:21, a few seconds short of top ice-time honours behind fellow blueliner Maxim Goncharov. He was duly recognized as first star of the game.
The outshot was 40-21 in favour of the Coyotes, who will be in need of that much offensive output all season long. Jason LaBarbera handled the work in nets all game long whereas former Flame Curtis McElhinney and Q alumnus J-P Levasseur shared duty for Anaheim.