GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) -- Phoenix Coyotes center Steven Reinprecht
had five points and four stitches Thursday night.
"Maybe next time I'll go for six or seven stitches,"
Reinprecht, who had a goal and four assists, said after the Coyotes
opened their 10th season in the desert with a 6-3 victory over the
New York Islanders.
Reinprecht required the stitches above his lip after being hit
by a stick.
Ladislav Nagy had two goals and Shane Doan, Joel Perrault and
Derek Morris also scored for Phoenix, which tied a club record for
goals on opening night and made Islander goalie Rick DiPietro's first start since signing a 15-year contract with the team a rough one.
The Nagy-Doan-Reinprecht line had four goals and seven assists.
Viktor Kozlov scored twice for New York, which committed 13
The Coyotes spotted the Islanders a 1-0 lead at 1:45 of the
first period on Miroslav Satan's shot from the top of the right
circle. Then the Coyotes blitzed the Islanders with six straight
goals -- two by Nagy -- to coast to the victory.
It was a rousing start for the Coyotes, who are seeking their
first playoff appearance since 2002. Coach Wayne Gretzky was
pleased with the result but cautious about reading too much into
"Listen, we've got 81 more games to go," Gretzky said. "We've
got a long ride ahead of us.
"We needed this tonight," he said. "We needed a little bit of
a breath of fresh air around here, some positive ions. Maybe the
black cloud will start lifting around here and this will be a step
in the right direction."
Indeed, the Coyotes enjoyed some good fortune, with both of
Nagy's goals deflecting off Islanders.
After New York's Tom Poti was sent off for tripping, Phoenix
tied it at 1-1 on Nagy's power-play goal at 5:25 of the first
period. Nagy was originally credited with an assist after he
slipped the puck to Reinprecht in the crease, but the official
scorer gave Nagy the goal when video replays revealed that the puck
had hit a defenseman's skate.
"It was a little bit lucky, but it's in," Nagy said.
It was Nagy's first goal since Jan. 14. He missed the final 29
games of last season with a knee injury.
The Coyotes made it 2-1 on Morris' slap shot from the left
circle at 9:35 of the first.
Phoenix put the game away with three goals in a 2:19 span of the
Nagy's second goal came at 7:34 after he slipped behind the
defense and took a pass from Doan. Nagy lost control of the puck,
but it bounced in off the skate of Islanders defenseman Brendan
"Hey, you throw the puck to the net, good things are going to
happen," Doan said.
At 9:02 Doan took a nifty backhand pass from Reinprecht in the
crease and beat DiPietro to his glove side to put Phoenix
Fifty-one seconds later, Perrault scored on a breakaway.
Reinprectht gave Phoenix a 6-1 lead when he redirected Ed
Jovanovski's blast from the blue line on a power play at 12:11 of
the second period.
DiPietro allowed six goals in 32 shots before being replaced by
"We had some bad breaks," DiPietro said. "Things kind of went
down south for us."
The Islanders' second goal came when Kozlov scored on a rebound
of a shot by Witt at 3:04 of the third period. Kozlov scored again
at 6:07 to cut the deficit to 6-3.
"I thought we played hard in the third period and battled back,
which is a good sign," DiPietro said. "The big thing for us will
be resiliency, and how we bounce back."
Phoenix goalie Curtis Joseph had 26 saves and earned his 429th
career victory. That leaves him eight shy of Hall of Famer Jacques
Plante, who ranks fifth in NHL history.
The Islanders opened on the road for the 30th time in 34
years. After stops in San Jose, Los Angeles and Anaheim, the
Islanders open at home against Boston on Oct. 14. ... The victory
evened Gretzky's career record at 39-39-5.