Series (Game 1 of 4)

Arizona leads 2-1

Game 1: Monday, October 14th
Blue Jackets2
Game 2: Monday, December 9th
Blue Jackets3Final
Game 3: Saturday, January 4th
Blue Jackets2
Game 4: Tuesday, February 18th
Blue Jackets2Final

Coyotes 4

(1-2-0, 2 pts)

Blue Jackets 2

(1-2-0, 2 pts)

7:00 PM ET, October 14, 2002

Nationwide Arena, Columbus, Ohio

1 2 3 T
ARI 2 1 14
CBJ 1 0 12

B. Boucher (Coyotes - G): Saves: 30, Save Pct.: .938

L. Nagy (Coyotes - LW): Goals: 1, Assists: 0

T. Numminen (Coyotes - D): Goals: 0, Assists: 1

Phoenix's power-plays net a much-needed victory

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) -- In only the third game of the season the Phoenix Coyotes felt a sense of urgency.

Six Coyotes were jam-packed into their penalty box during the first period.

''It was a must win. Let's not take away from the importance of this game. We needed to have this,'' coach Bob Francis said after the Coyotes won for the first time with a 4-2 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets on Monday night.

The game set Columbus records for most penalties by the Blue Jackets (15), an opponent (19) and combined penalty minutes (108). NHL commissioner Gary Bettman watched the game from the press box.

''It was an odd game -- a lot of penalties. I think that's going to be the norm in the NHL this year,'' Phoenix goalie Brian Boucher said.

The Coyotes converted just two of 13 power-play chances in losing their first two games this season, but scored on two of their first three opportunities against Columbus.

Ladislav Nagy, Shane Doan and Paul Mara had power-play goals. Landon Wilson added an even-strength goal.

Daniel Briere assisted on two of Phoenix's three power-play goals.

Phoenix finished 3-for-9 on the power play, and Columbus was 1-for-11.

''We were very good,'' Francis said of Phoenix's power play. ''I thought our movement was solid and we had good traffic in front of the net. Both our power-play and penalty-killing units did the job.''

Boucher made 30 saves for the Coyotes.

''He played great. He was hungry and we really needed the win,'' forward Tony Amonte said. ''He made some key saves and didn't give up many rebounds. That was the difference.''

Phoenix led 2-1 after a wild first period in which there were a combined 19 penalties -- a Columbus franchise record -- totaling 70 minutes.

At one point, each team had five players in the penalty box. Because there is room for only three to sit down, two players were left to stand and watch the game.

Nagy scored his first of the season at 6:18 of the first, jamming in Briere's cross-crease pass. Then Doan redirected Teppo Numminen's blast from the point to give the Coyotes a 2-0 lead midway through the period.

''For a road team, that's a perfect scenario -- to get out and get two power-play goals and grab the lead,'' Columbus coach Dave King said. ''We played very poorly, I think, in many areas. They played very well, so it's not a good combination.''

Phoenix's Ossi Vaanenen got a triple minor for crosschecking, instigating and unsportsmanlike conduct, a fighting major and a misconduct. It left the Blue Jackets with a six-minute power play near the end of the period.

Espen Knutsen scored in traffic as the power play was coming to an end, jamming in a shot from close range set up by Mike Sillinger and Andrew Cassels.

Wilson made it 3-1 early in the second period, swooping into the slot for an unassisted goal that trickled past Columbus goalie Marc Denis.

''We knew they'd be hungry,'' Columbus defenseman Luke Richardson said. ''In the second period, we got behind the eight-ball and that let our team down a little bit, taking so many penalties. It just seemed to go like that the rest of the night. Every time we seemed to get the momentum going, rolling our four lines, we took an untimely penalty.''

Amonte and Briere assisted on Mara's goal early in the third period before Jaroslav Spacek scored on a Blue Jackets power play.

Game notes

Columbus left wing Rick Nash, the overall No. 1 draft choice last summer, missed the last two periods after being cut near his eye. Left wing Lasse Pirjeta injured a shoulder in the first period and did not return. ... The Coyotes announced earlier in the day that defenseman Todd Simpson would be lost two to three weeks with a broken right hand. ... The sellout was the Blue Jackets' 58th in a row at home.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press