GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) - Phoenix Coyotes captain Shane Doan was very matter of fact about his recent offensive outburst.
``Guys are finding a way to score,' said Doan, who scored with 8:49 remaining and added an assist to lift the Phoenix Coyotes to a 4-2 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets on Tuesday night. ``When that happens, it carries over to everyone.'
Doan, stationed just to the left of goalie Mathieu Garon, battled down Keith Yandle's rising shot from the left boards to snap a 2-2 tie. Vernon Fiddler scored his first goal in 22 games just 52 seconds later to make it 4-2.
``The puck's going to end up there (at the net), so you want to be there,' Doan said.
Doan has been the catalyst for a Coyotes offense that finally has found its stride. After scoring one goal in four straight games, Phoenix has 18 in its past four.
Doan has multiple points in each of those games and has posted six goals and six assists during a seven-game point streak.
``It's not just been for a couple of days,' Coyotes coach Dave Tippett said. ``Doaner's been doing this for a month and a half.'
Scottie Upshall and Sami Lepisto also scored for the Coyotes, who won for the third time in eight games.
``It's either going to be them or us in the playoffs so we have to start pecking away at these Western Conference teams,' Fiddler said.
Jakub Voracek and R.J. Umberger had goals for the Blue Jackets, who have dropped two straight. Umberger has goals in four straight games and five of seven.
``We can't feel sorry for ourselves,' said Columbus coach Scott Arniel, whose club was leapfrogged by Phoenix in the Western Conference standings. ``It's too tight of a race and there's too much going on.'
After a scoreless first period, Upshall backhanded a pass just inside the left post from the side of the net to give Phoenix a 1-0 lead 6:40 into the second.
Lepisto made it 2-0 when he corralled a loose puck following a scrum to the left side of the net, took one stride to his right, and scored over the glove of a sprawling Garon.
Umberger cut the Coyotes' lead to 2-1 at 11:57 of the second, forcing home a rebound of his original shot that was stopped by Ilya Bryzgalov.
Voracek tied it at 7:51 of the second with 8 seconds left on a power play after Upshall was whistled for slashing. Voracek swept the puck past Bryzgalov from just below the right circle.
``We got the power-play goal and it felt like we were on the cusp of taking the lead,' Umberger said. ``But then they got a redirect goal.'
NOTES: Fiddler hadn't scored since Nov. 12 against Calgary when he recorded his first career hat trick. Coyotes C Kyle Turris left in the second period because of an undisclosed upper body injury. ... Columbus was the last Western Conference team to face Phoenix this season.
The Associated Press News Service
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