GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP)—Doug Weight earned the admiration of his teammates—and opponents—with a milestone pass.
“It was unbelievable for the team to stand up and give me a hand and the crowd, too,” Weight said. “The U.S. has a lot of U.S. hockey fans and me being an American it’s nice to do it on this soil. It was a very nice hand I got and I appreciate it.”
Weight, whose wife is from Phoenix, reached the mark in front of about 30 friends and family members.
“I couldn’t really move all game today,” Weight said. “I felt a little nervous. It worked out, having my family here. It’s something I’ll be proud of and remember the rest of my life.”
Weight reached the plateau when he fed Richard Park on a long outlet pass to make it 5-3 with 3:06 left. Weight assisted again when Park scored with 28 seconds to go on a one-timer from the bottom of the left circle after goalie Rick DiPietro had gone to the bench for an extra attacker.
“To be part of it, not only as a teammate but to get in on that accomplishment is something I’ll always remember,” Park said. “Things like that don’t happen too much in this game. I think it speaks volumes about Doug as a hockey player and the dedication and sacrifice he’s endured to get to that point.”
Shane Doan and Olli Jokinen both scored, Zbynek Michalek had a goal and an assist, and Viktor Tikhonov and Joakim Lindstrom each added unassisted goals for the Coyotes, who won for the third time in four games.
“It’s pucks and people to the net,” Doan said. “We’ve got a lot to do yet and it’s something that’s a process and we’ll be better at it.”
“I like the way our team didn’t give up,” said Islanders coach Scott Gordon. “We did a great job, even when it was 5-2, to stay with it.”
Michalek snapped a 1-all tie on a shot from the point with 10 seconds left in the first period.
“We know how good he is because we see him every night,” Coyotes coach Wayne Gretzky said. “To seem him now get some offensive confidence and scoring some goals is a bonus to what we expect out of him.”
Doan made it 3-1 at 15:05 of the second when he shot the puck between the legs of Islanders right wing Tim Jackman and over Rick DiPietro’s glove.
DiPietro, making just his fifth start of the season and first since December 26, made 28 saves for the Islanders. New York’s No. 1 goalie returned from a 27-game absence a week ago and played two games before being sidelined with a groin injury.
“It was good to get back into the game and get some live action,” DiPietro said. “It was nice that I didn’t hurt anything and finished the game. Besides losing, I feel good physically.”
Jokinen’s goal on a long rebound into the low slot extended Phoenix’s lead to 4-2 with 16:50 remaining.
Bailey beat Mikael Tellqvist on a one-timer from between the hashes 31 seconds later to pull the Islanders to 4-2.
“Obviously it was wearing on me quite a bit for the last while now,” Bailey said. “Hopefully the flood gates will open now and I’ll get a lot more confidence.”
Lindstrom stole the puck from the Islanders’ defense at the New York blue line and beat DiPietro on the breakaway with 6:27 to go for his fourth goal in 12 games.
“We knew coming into this game this was almost a must-win for us,” Michalek said. “We have a tough game Sunday on the road and we wanted to go there with two points and confidence.”
Tikhonov opened the scoring when he gained control of the puck in the right faceoff circle, skated to the front of the net and backhanded a shot between DiPietro’s pads just 1:46 into the game.
Bergenheim tied the game at 1 at 9:20 of the first on a wrist shot from the top of the left faceoff circle.
Weight has 16 goals and 46 assists in 58 career games against the Winnipeg/Phoenix franchise, his third-highest total against any single team. … Doan and Jokinen have scored in the same game three times this season. … Guerin has assists in four straight games and has scored in five in a row overall. … Michalek was playing in his 300th career game. … Steven Reinprecht’s assist on Doan’s goal was the 200th of his career. … Jackman caught Tellqvist across the mask with his stick after a whistle in the first period and was booed lustily the rest of the game every time he touched the puck.