Final

Series (Game 1 of 1)

Arizona leads 1-0

Game 1: Monday, December 5th
Jets2Final
Coyotes5

Jets 2

(10-15-3, 23 pts)

Coyotes 5

(15-12-2, 32 pts)

9:00 PM ET, December 5, 2005

Jobing.com Arena, Glendale, Arizona

1 2 3 T
WPG 0 2 02
ARI 0 1 45

M. Johnson (Coyotes - RW): Goals: 2, Assists: 1

S. Doan (Coyotes - RW): Goals: 0, Assists: 1

L. Nagy (Coyotes - LW): Goals: 0, Assists: 2

Johnson's three point night leads Coyotes to win

GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) -- Ladislav Nagy is helping Mike Johnson become a consistent scoring threat for the Phoenix Coyotes.

Johnson scored twice, including the game-winner with 15:43 remaining, and also had an assist in the Coyotes' 5-2 victory over the Atlanta Thrashers on Monday night.

After two mostly lethargic periods, the Coyotes took the lead when Nagy skated past the front of the crease with the puck, pivoted and fired a pass to Johnson at the right corner of the crease. Johnson then lifted a wrist shot into the top left corner of the net to make it 3-2 and extend his points streak to five games.

"He's one of the most talented players in the world," Johnson said of Nagy. "He's nice to play with. You can leave him by himself because he's so strong he's able to fight off his defender. You just need to find some open ice. He's given me more goals than I've scored."

Paul Mara, Zbynek Michalek and Mike Comrie added goals for the Coyotes, who scored a season-high four times in the third period for their sixth win in eight games.

Nagy had two assists, giving him eight goals and 12 assists in his last 11 games.

"There's an obvious chemistry between Nagy and Johnson," Coyotes coach Wayne Gretzky said. "Nagy was under the magnifying glass a bit and was probably pressing at the beginning of the year. But he came in and talked and said he was going to play his way out of it and to his credit he's done that."

The Coyotes, 10-4-1 since Nov. 1, don't play again until Dec. 11 in Boston. They then play four games in six days.

"We didn't want to have a situation where the teams behind us were moving up and the teams in front were moving even further ahead," Gretzky said. "The only way to combat that was to win tonight, to do our own job."

Marian Hossa scored his 200th career goal and Vyacheslav Kozlov also had a goal for the Thrashers, who lost their third straight in regulation and fourth in a row overall.

"Winning hockey games is something you have to learn, like playing hockey," Atlanta coach Bob Hartley said. "Everyone is a good hockey player but learning how to win, it's a different game."

Mara tied it at 2 at 2:45 of the third period when he beat Michael Garnett with a blast from the high slot.

Michalek extended the lead to 4-2 with 12:21 to go when his shot from above the right faceoff circle bounced off the right post and the back of Garnett's left leg before trickling into the net.

Comrie added an empty-net goal with 44.7 seconds to play.

"They played really well in the third period," Garnett said. "Some bounces ended up in our net, which was unlucky for us. It shifted the momentum of the game."

The Thrashers had been 5-0-0 when leading after two periods this season.

"Unfortunately we didn't play a whole 60 minutes today," Kozlov said. "We played a first and a good second but in the third when they tied the game we stopped playing for some reason."

After a scoreless first period, Kozlov gave Atlanta a 1-0 lead at 6:13 of the second period when he took an errant clearing pass from Michalek in front of the Coyotes' net and beat Curtis Joseph with a wrist shot.

Hossa made it 2-0 at 11:09 of the period, beating Joseph with a hard shot from between the circles.

Johnson cut it to 2-1 44 seconds later when he redirected Comrie's shot from the top of the left circle.

Game notes


Phoenix won consecutive games for sixth time this season. ... The Coyotes are 8-1-1 overall against the Thrashers. ... Hossa reached the 200-goal mark in 495 games. ... Atlanta had six shots on goal in the third period after posting 23 the first two periods. The Thrashers have 19 shots and one goal in the third periods of their last four games.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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