Coyotes blank Canucks
Glendale, AZ (SportsNetwork.com) - Antoine Vermette scored the game's only goal in the first period and Mike Smith posted a 23-save shutout, as the Phoenix Coyotes snapped a four-game slide with a 1-0 win over the Vancouver Canucks on Tuesday at Jobing.com Arena.
Vermette's 22nd of the season provided Smith with the only support he would need, as the 31-year-old netminder turned aside 11 shots in the final frame to secure his third shutout of the season and 27th of his career.
"It was kind of a sloppy hockey game, but we won," Phoenix head coach Dave Tippett said. "That's all we need right now."
Eddie Lack stopped 31-of-32 shots for the Canucks, who kicked off a potential fire sale at the NHL trade deadline by dealing three-time All-Star goaltender Roberto Luongo to the Florida Panthers prior to Tuesday's tilt.
"We just couldn't get that last push and it's just been that way for the last month or so," said Lack. "These games are important and we need to start putting together some wins real quick."
Vancouver forward Daniel Sedin missed the game with a lower-body injury and general manager Mike Gillis said on Tuesday that he is out indefinitely.
The Coyotes cracked the scoreboard late in the first after Brandon McMillan won a race to a chip-in along the end boards behind the Vancouver cage.
McMillan's blind backhand centering feed then fluttered through the slot and landed on the stick of a cutting Shane Doan, who rifled a wrister from the left circle that Lack got a piece of.
However, the rebound trickled through the crease and Vermette was there on the low right side to pound it home for a 1-0 lead at 17:04.
Following a scoreless second stanza, Phoenix appeared to pad its lead with just over eight minutes left in the third when Mikkel Boedker ripped a rebound into the back of the net, but Vermette was whistled for goaltender interference on the shot to nullify the goal.
Smith made sure the call didn't come back to haunt the Coyotes, as he turned away all comers to keep the Canucks off the board.
Phoenix also made a trade prior to Tuesday's game, acquiring forwards Martin Erat and John Mitchell from the Washington Capitals in exchange for forward Chris Brown, defenseman Rostislav Klesla and a fourth-round pick in the 2015 draft ... The Canucks received goalie Jacob Markstrom and forward Shawn Matthias in the Luongo trade ... Phoenix improved to 18-11-3 at home.