With 17 seconds left in the first period and his team trailing New York, 2-1, Coyotes defenseman Ed Jovanovski was given a five-minute major and a game misconduct for elbowing Islanders center John Tavares. At the start of the second period, the Phoenix coaching staff did not have a player serve Jovanovski's penalty.
When the Islanders failed to score for the first 4:47 of the second and there were no whistles for the Coyotes to add a fifth man, play continued with the Coyotes down one. And continued. And continued. Wisely, Phoenix players started icing to puck to get a stoppage in play. However, at the other end of the rink was Dwayne Roloson, who wasn't born yesterday but more than 40 years ago. The Islanders goalie played the puck all three times, and play continued.
Exhausted -- and probably more than a little exasperated -- Phoenix's Martin Hanzel took a slashing penalty 7:35 into the period. The Jovanovski "five minute" major was finally over, but now the Coyotes were shorthanded again. Then Phoenix defenseman Adrian Aucoin committed a cross-checking penalty at 9:02. The Islanders scored on the 5-on-3 and again on the 5-4.
In summation, after Phoenix killed the entirety of Jovanovski's penalty, the Islanders scored two goals in Tippett Time and turned a 2-1 lead into a 4-1 lead. Coyotes star goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov was taken out of the game after the fourth goal and replaced by Jason LaBarbera.
After the game, Tippett was surprisingly nonchalant for a coach who had made such a huge gaffe. "We made some mistakes, myself included for not putting a guy in the box," said Tippett. "I've never seen them go eight minutes without a whistle, but it's funny how that goes sometimes, you know?"
For his work in leading a troubled franchise to a 26-15-5 record, Tippett is one of top candidates for NHL coach of the year. Saturday night proved that even the best can have a bad night.