Friday, December 13, 2013
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Klinkhammer, Coyotes cruise past Isles

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[December 13, 2013]  GLENDALE, Ariz.  After spotting the New York Islanders an early one-goal lead, the Phoenix Coyotes put the hammer down. Center Rob Klinkhammer was a big part of that.

Klinkhammer, receiving extended playing time for the first time in his four-year career, had two goals and a career-high three points to help the Coyotes to a 6-3 victory over the Islanders at Jobing.com Arena on Thursday.

"I'm pumped about it. I love it," Klinkhammer said. "I'll enjoy it tonight, and then back to work. The last couple of weeks, it is starting to come along. Just have to keep building on it, keep going in the same direction."

Klinkhammer, who already has career highs with six goals and seven assists, broke a 1-1 tie with his first goal early in the second period, although he got a little help when New York defenseman Aaron Ness knocked the puck in while trying to clear it in front of the net.

His second goal was the clincher, the only score in the third period, as the Coyotes matched their highest-scoring game of the season.

"The first one was lucky, yeah," Klinkhammer said. "I got a lucky bounce out of the zone on the second one. I was looking to pass the whole way, then I realized I was in a little tight and shot it. I just panicked. It probably looked nicer than it was."


Right winger Mikkel Boedker added two goals, his first two at home this season, center Mike Ribeiro added a goal and two assists, and defenseman Keith Yandle had a goal and an assist as the Coyotes (18-8-5) avenged their worst loss of the season, 6-1 on the East Coast in the third game of the season.

The Coyotes scored four goals in the second period.

"We were pretty solid," Phoenix coach Dave Tippett said. "We had a lot of people contribute. That goes back to who we are. Every guy in there feels a responsibility. They've got to chip in."

Center John Tavares scored his 13th goal of the season for the Islanders, who won one of their last 12 games and three of their last 19, getting only six points in that span. New York (9-19-5) broke a 10-game winless streak by beating the Sharks in San Jose on Tuesday.

"It's the worst hockey game I've seen our defense play," Islanders coach Jack Capuano said of the defeat in Phoenix. "Four goals were a direct result. Turnovers. Not being able to execute on the breakouts. It was like they were in quicksand back there."

Coyotes goaltender Mike Smith, who missed two of the previous three games with an illness, made 21 saves.

The Coyotes peppered Islanders' goalie Kevin Poulin (31 saves) early in the second period, scoring three of their goals in the first 6:15 for a 4-1.

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After Klinkhammer scored for a 2-1 lead at 2:34, Boedker followed with his eighth goal after a cross-ice pass from Yandle got loose in front at 4:31. Ribeiro got his ninth goal from the slot to make it 4-1 at 6:15 of the period.

"As the back end, as a group, it wasn't there," New York defenseman Thomas Hickey said. "Safe to say, opportunity missed."

The Islanders responded with two goals in 83 seconds to make it 4-3. Tavares was credited with a goal when his centering pass toward the front was tipped in by a Coyotes defender at 11:42, and forward Kyle Okposo scored his 10th goal while sliding in from the left side at 13:05 to make it 4-3.

As the period wound down, Boedker stole the puck at center ice and scored his second goal with 1:01 left to make it 5-3.

"The goal kind of took the wind out of them a little bit," Boedker said. "We got that goal before the period (ended), and when you do that, you can kind of come in and settle it down and get back to basics."

Klinkhammer completed the scoring at 14:13 of the third period.

The Islanders opened the scoring when left winger Eric Boulton tipped in a shot from the left point by defenseman Andrew MacDonald at 13:06 of the first period.

Yandle tied the game with a power-play goal on a slap shot from just inside the blue line between the circles 88 seconds later.

"We never quit, that's a good thing," Ribeiro said.

NOTES: Coyotes C Shane Doan missed his third straight game with an undisclosed illness. Coach Dave Tippett said after Thursday's morning skate that Doan is "not going to be available for the foreseeable future. He's still getting some tests done, so hopefully it's not long, long term." ... Doan has 23 points, which is third on the team. The last time the Islanders were in Arizona, on Jan. 2, 2012, Doan had his first career hat trick. The teams did not meet in the strike-shortened 2012-13 season. ... After a two-game homestand that concludes against the Carolina Hurricanes on Saturday, the Coyotes play four road games in seven days on an East Coast trip. ... Islanders C Ryan Strome was a healthy scratch after being recalled from AHL Bridgeport. Strome, 20, was leading the AHL with 33 points (nine goals, 24 assists) in 23 games. ... The Islanders concluded a five-game road trip Thursday. They play three of their next four games at home.

[ 2013 Thomson Reuters. All rights reserved.]

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