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Score with 19 seconds left caps rally

2/21/2004

GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) -- Daymond Langkow thought the Phoenix
Coyotes had to open a five-game homestand with a win to retain any
hope of making the playoffs. He held up his end.

"We never gave up," Langkow said after netting the
game-winning goal with 19 seconds to play in a 3-2 win over the
Columbus Blue Jackets on Friday night. "We kept battling and came
back and won."

The Coyotes rallied from a two-goal deficit, pulling into a tie
on Paul Mara's power-play goal with 3:18 remaining.

Then Langkow turned a rebound of his own shot to his forehand
and wristed the puck just under the crossbar. The goal, coupled
with a 3-2 win over Dallas in their last home game, gave the
Coyotes their first winning streak in the new Glendale Arena.

"It was big," said Shane Doan, who helped on Mara's goal.
"Really big. We've got to find ways to win games down the stretch,
no matter how they look."

Jeff Taffe had a goal and an assist, and rookie Jean-Marc
Pelletier earned his initial NHL victory by making 26 saves.

Pelletier, recalled on Feb. 10, had a shutout loss in his only
start with Philadelphia in 1998-99. He was 0-2 -- including a 2-0
loss to Columbus -- with the Coyotes last season after they acquired
him and a draft pick from Carolina in December 2001.

"I'm really happy to get my first win for this organization,
and I have only my teammates to thank," Pelletier said. "My
goaltender coach Benoit Allaire, I work so hard for him. It's so
nice to see the hard work pay off."

The Blue Jackets, who had a 2-0 lead after goals by Trevor
Letowski and Jaroslav Spacek, started an even more inexperienced
goalie.

Pascal Leclaire made 28 saves in his NHL debut, but was
victimized by the Coyotes' late pressure.

"It's frustrating when any team comes back on you," Leclaire
said. "I know, though, that I can play in that league. Now I just
have to make the big save."

Phoenix failed to get a shot off in three previous power plays
in the third period, but capitalized when Scott Lachance was
penalized for hooking with 4:38 to go.

Mara, low in the left circle, angled a rebound of Mike Comrie's
shot behind Leclaire 1:20 later.

Back at even strength, the Coyotes stormed the Columbus end, and
Langkow got the puck on a pass from Taffe from behind the net. His
first shot bounced off Leclaire, but the second went in to extend
the Blue Jackets' winless streak on the road to nine games (0-6-3).

"I was kind of just throwing it out there hoping one of those
two (Langkow or Fredrik Sjostrom) was in front," Taffe said. "I
mean, hoping for a good bounce or something. Langs made a great
shot, the guy made a great save on him, and he just kind of stayed
with it."

Columbus interim coach Gerard Gallant thought his team deserved
better.

"It's definitely disheartening when you kill three of them off
and then you get a fourth penalty in a row in the third period when
you're winning 2-1," Gallant said.

Pelletier had nine saves in the first period, three during two
Blue Jackets power plays that included 1:01 of five-on-three. He
made one highlight-reel stop when he blocked a shot by Todd
Marchant on a breakaway and then gloved the puck in the air.

Seconds after that, Leclaire turned away shots by Jan Hrdina and
Langkow.

The Blue Jackets stepped up the pace in the second period,
scoring twice on 16 shots.

Letowski got the first goal after Phoenix defenseman Radoslav
Suchy stopped his shot with a skate, but kicked the puck back to
Letowski. He put a wrist shot past Pelletier.

Columbus made it 2-0 on Spacek's slap shot five seconds after
the Coyotes killed another five-on-three power play.

Phoenix responded when Taffe batted an airborne puck in off
Leclaire's right arm with 2:41 left in the second period.

"Do we feel lucky to win a game?" Coyotes coach Bob Francis
said. "Yeah, but when it came down to crunch time, the kids won it
for us."

Game notes
Coyotes LW Tyson Nash had an apparent goal disallowed in
the second period because of a quick whistle. ... Phoenix is
4-7-2-2 at the new arena. ... The Jackets are 8-10-4-1 under
Gallant. ... The Coyotes have scored 12 goals in the last two
minutes of regulation.