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Coyotes win in another tough road venue

The SportsXchange

PHILADELPHIA -- The Phoenix Coyotes felt right at home in two difficult arenas for visiting teams.

Oliver Ekman-Larsson scored a power-play goal late in the second period to break a tie, Thomas Greiss made 36 saves and the Coyotes beat the Philadelphia Flyers 2-1 Friday night.

Rob Klinkhammer also scored a goal for the Coyotes (3-2), who won their second road game in two nights. Phoenix beat Detroit 4-2 Thursday night.

"We had a real tough turnaround after a tough, tough game last night. Being a real tired team, you use a lot less energy when you have the lead," Coyotes coach Dave Tippett said. "When you're chasing the game, you use a lot more. Our guys hung in there and we ended up winning."

Max Talbot had the lone goal for the Flyers, who fell to 1-4. They've scored a franchise-low six goals after five games.

"I don't really care about that," Talbot said. "I think we played with more speed, we got some good chances, and we've got to build on that for tomorrow."

Things got worse for the Flyers because center Vincent Lecavalier and left wing Scott Hartnell were injured and will miss at least a week, according to general manager Paul Holmgren. Hartnell sustained an upper-body injury and Lecavalier has a lower-body injury. Both will have MRI exams Saturday.

"We are obviously having a difficult time and you know we had some good opportunities, good enough opportunities to win the game," Holmgren said. "Obviously we need to do a better job in front of the net and we are in one of those situations where I thought the difference in the game earlier was they scored a goal because they were in front of the net, hit somebody and ran."

The Flyers fired coach Peter Laviolette after an 0-3 start, replacing him with assistant Craig Berube. He failed to become the first head coach in team history to win his first two games after being named coach during the season.

Talbot scored on a deflection to make it 1-1. Sean Couturier tried a wraparound shot, but the puck trickled to Zac Rinaldo in the slot. Rinaldo spun around and fired a slap shot that hit Talbot's skate and trickled in.

Just 2:18 after the Flyers tied it in the second period, Ekman-Larsson skated around Talbot and lifted a shot off goalie Steve Mason's glove and into the net to put the Coyotes up 2-1 with 13 seconds left before intermission.

"What a play by Oliver," Coyotes captain Shane Doan said. "He's one of the best-kept secrets in the league. It's hard to win back-to-backs. We're fortunate we got great goaltending. This is a very tough building to win it and it's huge. Not a lot of teams in the West are going to get two points here."

Klinkhammer gave the Coyotes a 1-0 lead 2:41 into the game when he deflected a shot past Mason. Derek Morris flipped a shot from the point toward a crowd in front of the net. The puck sailed through two Flyers, hit off Morris and went in.

The Flyers had a chance to tie it when Adam Hall got pulled down by Michael Stone on a short-handed breakaway and was awarded a penalty shot. But Hall lost control of the puck before he could take a shot and Greiss stopped the puck before it slipped under his pad.

"Having a guy come in and make some good saves at critical times and build the confidence of the team that you can win in a tough situation, that's exactly what you ask from that goaltender," Tippett said.

The Flyers' top four goal scorers last season -- Jakub Voracek, Wayne Simmonds, Claude Giroux and Matt Read -- have zero goals and one assist combined this season.

"It's difficult to see the boys feeling this way right now," Mason said. "It's not for a lack of effort because everybody in this room cares tremendously, but we are going to have to start scoring. We need to score more goals and I think the boys can feel that it is going to come. We just have to keep working for it."

Greiss preserved the lead by sliding across the crease to stop Voracek's point-blank shot midway through the third.

NOTES: The teams met for the first time since the Flyers beat Phoenix 4-2 on Dec. 3, 2011. It was the first game in Philadelphia since a 2-1 win for the Flyers on Nov. 17, 2011. ... The Flyers avoided the first 0-4 start in franchise history with a victory in Berube's first game as coach Tuesday. ... Mason started four of Philadelphia's first five games, getting the nod over G Ray Emery. ... The Coyotes played their fourth in a five-game road trip. They'll visit Carolina on Sunday before returning home to face Ottawa on Tuesday. ... Phoenix assigned D Chris Summers to the AHL's Portland Pirates and recalled RW Brandon Yip, who was a healthy scratch. ... Tippett finished his NHL playing career with the Flyers in 1994.
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