Phoenix Coyotes manage 4-1 win over Winnipeg Jets despite being jeered by their own crowd
Despite being in their own home stadium for their first match of the 2011-2012 National Hockey League (NHL) regular season, Phoenix Coyotes had a lot of opposing fans in support of the new Winnipeg Jets, but still won, 4-1, Saturday night, October 15, at the sold-out Jobing.com Arena in Glendale, Arizona, United States.
Phoenix Coyotes managed to holdout Winnipeg Jets for their second straight victory, which resulted in the latter losing their third, disappointing fans of the new franchise who had high expectations for the new season.
Even though they did not have the whole crowd on their side, Phoenix head coach, Dave Tippett, did not let the cheering faze him.
"It's a great atmosphere because when you get the visiting fans in there it really puts a burr in your fan's butts", Tippett said. "Our fans did a great job, and we scored early in the game. Believe me -- I had visions of hearing ‘Let's go Jets' a lot more than I heard tonight, so I give our fans a lot of credit".
Daymond Langkow and Oliver Ekman-Larsson scored two straight for Coyotes to put the home team ahead with 10:48 remaining in the first period. Langkow scored his first on an assist by Ray Whitney 34 seconds in while Ekman-Larsson took a slap-shot near midway on a breakaway unassisted.
Ekman-Larsson scored his third of the season with 5:03 remaining in the second, extending the lead even further and putting Winnipeg on the edge.
Being in his second season, and hoping this time to play entirely in the NHL, Ekman-Larsson is optimistic about putting up big numbers this time around.
"It's always fun to score and I feel more comfortable out there", Ekman-Larsson said. "I only had one goal last year, but I'm playing more and I feel better and I'll try to keep it up".
Jets captain, Andrew Ladd, put the visiting team on the scoreboard during the final minute of the second period for his first, but it was Ray Whitney’s goal during a power play advantage during the third that secured the matchup in Phoenix’s favour.
Coyotes host Chicago Blackhawks on Tuesday, while Winnipeg Jets hope for a win against Pittsburgh Penguins on Monday.