Hanzal scores 2, Coyotes top Blue Jackets 5-3
GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) — Power-play goals seem as rare as a desert snowstorm for the Phoenix Coyotes.
They finally got one when they really needed it Saturday night.
Martin Hanzal's power-play score on one of Keith Yandle's three assists broke a third-period tie and the Coyotes went on to beat the Columbus Blue Jackets 5-3. Hanzal added an empty-net goal and an assist in Phoenix's third victory in four games.
The Coyotes had gone 17 power plays without scoring before Hanzal ended the drought.
Radim Vrbata scored for Phoenix before leaving the game in the second period with a lower body injury. David Moss and Kyle Chipchura also scored for the Coyotes.
Jared Boll, Matt Calvert and Derek MacKenzie scored for Columbus, which has lost five of six.
Steve Sullivan set up the winning goal with a precise, long pass to Yandle, who sent a crossing feed to Hanzal in front of the net. Hanzal's first point-blank attempt bounced off goalie Steve Mason, but he scored on his next whack at it to put Phoenix up for good.
"It was a great play by Yands. He pretty much found me wide open," Hanzal said. "I just shot at the post and got my own rebound. I think that's what we've got to do, get more in front and get more shots at the net. That's what we've been practicing pretty much all season."
Coach Dave Tippett said that his team just kept putting on the pressure with the power plays.
"Everybody thinks it's a power play, you should just automatically go out there and score," he said, "and that's not the case. It's hard to score. You've just got to stay with it. "
With the empty-netter, Hanzal has seven goals this season. Yandle's three assists tied a career best.
"We saw tonight the power play come up huge," Hanzal said. "You don't have to score every time you're on it, but if you create enough chances, you can find a big goal and we were able to do that."
Mason had 34 saves. Mike Smith had 20 for the Coyotes.
Columbus coach Todd Richards said his team just "ran out of gas" playing one night after a tough 2-1 loss to the Kings in Los Angeles.