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Hockey

Fuhr's spell broken

Coyotes take must-win game from Blues 4-3, even series

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Posted: Saturday April 24, 1999 08:31 PM

  Shaking the Blues: St. Louis' Chris Pronger helped thwart Phoenix's Rick Tocchet on this attempt, but the Coyotes finally got the better of goalie Grant Fuhr. AP

PHOENIX (AP) -- At least temporarily, the Phoenix Coyotes broke a spell against Grant Fuhr in a must-win game.

And they did it with their youth movement, with 22-year-old Shane Doan, drafted less than four years ago and seeing expanded playing time because of an injury to Jeremy Roenick, scoring the winning goal in a 4-3 overtime triumph over the St. Louis Blues.

"I think it went off Fuhr's skate," Doan said Saturday after tapping a pass from Dallas Drake past the 36-year-old Fuhr 8:58 into overtime. "It was just sitting there. I only had to move it an inch. My heart was pounding, but I made sure I wasn't in the crease beforehand."

The victory tied the first-round series 1-1 and marked a dramatic comeback for the Coyotes, who had their only lead at 3-2 on Keith Carney's unassisted goal late in the third period, only to see Pavol Demitra tie it with 3:18 left.

Had the Coyotes lost, they would have faced a 2-0 deficit going into Game 3 Sunday and the prospect of possibly not returning to the America West Arena, where they began the round with home ice advantage for only the third time in 14 postseason appearances.

"It's a great feeling, but you can't get too high," said Drake, who scored Phoenix's first goal. "It is a huge win for us. We couldn't go to St. Louis down 2-0."

"We've got to get reset and refocused, and get ready for tomorrow afternoon, because it'll come along pretty quickly," said Blues defenseman Chris Pronger, who shadowed high-scoring Keith Tkachuk and kept him without a point for a second straight game.

Nikolai Khabibulin had seven of his 31 saves in the extra period, including a spectacular flurry when he stopped shots by Al MacInnis, Blair Atcheynum and Pascal Rheaume in a five-second span about 7:00 into the overtime.

"It wasn't that much. We've got another one coming up," said Khabibulin, now 8-9 in the playoffs.

Drake began the winning sequence when he recovered a loose puck behind the net, reversed direction and shoveled a pass to Doan.

Teppo Numminen and Keith Carney scored in the third period for the Coyotes, who trailed 2-1 when the period began.

MacInnis had a goal and two assists. The second was his 88th in 131 playoff games, moving him to 14th place in NHL history.

The Blues got their second goal from Pierre Turgeon. MacInnis and Demitra scored on two of St. Louis' four power plays.

Fuhr, prevented from tying Billy Smith for second in NHL history with 88 playoff victories, had 24 saves. He was in goal for the Edmonton Oilers in 1985 and 1987, when they ended the Winnipeg Jets' only two trips beyond the first round in 13 previous postseason appearances.

Fuhr, who earned a 3-1 victory over the Coyotes on Thursday, fell to 16-2 lifetime against the Jets-Coyotes in the playoffs.

"There weren't any surprises out there," he said. "We knew they were going to be better and come at us harder, and it was a much tougher game. But after two games we're at a split right now, and we're going back home. We're not in a bad situation."

It was the Coyotes' fifth victory in 11 playoff overtimes, and the 19th loss for the Blues in 40 extra sessions.

Numminen ended Phoenix's 0-for-10 streak on power plays in the series, tying it 2-2 at 2:15 of the third period.

For the second straight game, MacInnis silenced the crowd by scoring early on a 100 mph slap shot.

Khabibulin got his glove on the blast from high in the slot, but it came out and dribbled over the line 5:31 into the game.

The Coyotes, who didn't score until their 26th shot of the first game, cashed in on their 11th to tie it 5:53 into the second period, when Drake scored his fourth goal in 23 playoff games with a wrist shot.

 
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