The Phoenix Coyotes nearly surrendered valuable points on Thursday.
The Coyotes grabbed a two-goal lead but then promptly coughed that up before defeating the New Jersey Devils by a final score of 3-2 in the shootout. Mikkel Boedker scored the lone goal in the skills competition, roofing the puck on a pretty backhand move that beat Martin Brodeur.
Coyotes forward David Moss left the game in the second period with a lower-body injury and did not return.
The Devils began the comeback thanks to a goal from Ryane Clowe with only 0.3 seconds remaining in the second period. But Phoenix eventually prevailed. The two points were huge for the Coyotes, as they look to maintain their hold on a playoff position in the Western Conference.
They still remain in the second and final Wild Card spot in the West, now five points ahead of the ninth-place and idle Dallas Stars. But rather than looking behind them, the Coyotes have a new target in front of them. The win over New Jersey moved Phoenix to within a single point of the struggling Minnesota Wild for the top Wild Card.
The Wild were in St. Louis, playing the Blues in the second half of a back-to-back set that included a loss to the Vancouver Canucks on Wednesday.
The Coyotes also completed a three-game road trip through the Eastern Conference.
It got off to an anxious start, with the injury to goalie Mike Smith against the New York Rangers. Yet, Phoenix was able to get five of a possible six points with back-up puck stopper Thomas Greiss.