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Jackets Can't Hold Onto Early Lead, Fall, 5-2

Tuesday, 03.21.2006 / 12:00 AM / News
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Jackets Can\'t Hold Onto Early Lead, Fall, 5-2
COLUMBUS, Ohio (Ticker) -- Shane Doan helped make Curtis Joseph's slow start a thing of the past.

Doan scored the game-winning goal and added an assist and Joseph reached a milestone as the Coyotes ended a season-high five-game road trip with a 5-2 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets, who have lost five straight.

Joseph made 31 saves en route to the 423rd win of his career, tying him with Hall of Famer Tony Esposito for sixth place on the all-time list. The Coyotes finished the trek 3-2-0 and gave their slim playoff hopes a boost by pulling to within 11 points of eighth place in the Western Conference.

Joseph was under plenty of pressure early and allowed goals by defenseman Adam Foote and Sergei Fedorov in the game's first 11 minutes to build a 2-0 deficit. Mike Johnson scored with 6.9 seconds left in the period to get Phoenix on the board and Doan took over in the second.

Less than seven minutes into the stanza, the Coyotes captain sped in with the puck behind the Blue Jackets' net and, upon emerging on the other side, found Steven Reinprecht in the slot for a one-timer.

Nearly four minutes elapsed before Doan took a feed from defenseman Jamie Rivers at the top of the right faceoff circle and fired a slap shot over rookie Pascal Leclaire's left shoulder for a 3-2 advantage.

The tally was Doan's 25th of the season, marking the fourth time he has reached the plateau in six campaigns.

Early in the third, Reinprecht picked up a loose puck after a faceoff and got a shot on Leclaire that was deflected into traffic. Doan unsuccessfully tried to stuff the puck through, but Fredrik Sjostrom came through moments later to give Phoenix a 4-2 lead.

Joseph made 11 saves in the third and Mike Comrie capped the scoring in the final minute with an empty-netter for the Coyotes, who have won two straight for the first time since January 26-28.

Leclaire stopped 31 shots as Columbus fell to 17-17-0 at home.

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