GLENDALE, Ariz. — Given how good Coyotes goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov was Saturday, it wasn't surprising the Lightning needed some help to score.
Goals from Mattias Ritola and Adam Hall went off skates of Phoenix defensemen in a 3-0 win in front of an announced crowd of 8,171 at Jobing.com Arena.
"That's what we want," coach Guy Boucher said. "That's what we practice. We practice those types of goals, pucks on net, wraparounds. We practice ugly goals. We practice scrambling goals."
Steven Stamkos' backhand beauty for his team-best ninth goal was an anomaly on the night. And goalie Dan Ellis had 23 saves for his first shutout of the season and 11th of his career as the Lightning (7-2-1), with 15 points, regained a tie with the Canadiens atop the Eastern Conference.
Ritola's goal, his NHL first, came with 4:01 left in the second period, when his wraparound try went off the front tip of Keith Yandle's skate. Hall's second goal of the season, 4:26 into the third period, deflected off the front tip of David Schlemko's skate.
Stamkos scored with 5:22 left with a severe move to his backhand to beat Bryzgalov high.
Tampa Bay never got its offense in gear and had a season-low 23 shots. But it was excellent defensively, with 19 blocks and going 2-for-2 on the penalty kill while allowing one power-play shot.
"Defensively, very solid," Boucher said. "I've been talking about having that 60-minute-hour type of game, and defensively, we finally got it."
And when shots got through, Ellis, whose shutout streak is 113 minutes, 35 seconds going back to an Oct. 24 game with the Predators, was there.
Lightning defenseman Pavel Kubina was involved in a dangerous situation with 7:06 left in the third. He put a severe knee-to-knee hit on Yandle. Kubina then fought Coyotes captain Shane Doan, who was penalized for instigating.
The Lightning, continuing a trend of not-great first periods, likely will bemoan several good scoring chances. The most dramatic came about two minutes in with Stamkos and Marty St. Louis on a two-on-one.
Stamkos, on the right wing, passed up a shot and tried to feed St. Louis near the left post, but the puck slipped past St. Louis, who would have had an easy re-direct into an empty net.
Bryzgalov robbed Steve Downie at 5:39 with a sprawling glove save. Seventeen seconds later, Stamkos hit a post. Shots were at a premium the second half of the period. Tampa Bay had one in the last 10:06, including a drought of 9:21. Phoenix had one shot in the last 10:59.
Stamkos, with 8:53 left in the second period, was stoned by Bryzgalov with a left-leg save.
First Period—None. Penalties—None.
Second Period—1, Tampa Bay, Ritola 1 (B.Jones, Malone), 15:59. Penalties—Kubina, TB (roughing), 18:42; Jovanovski, Pho (roughing), 18:42; Aucoin, Pho (tripping), 19:24.
Third Period—2, Tampa Bay, Hall 2 (Thompson, Bergenheim), 4:26. 3, Tampa Bay, Stamkos 9 (Downie, R.Jones), 14:38. Penalties—St. Louis, TB (slashing), :32; Downie, TB (tripping), 7:45; Kubina, TB, minor-major (kneeing, fighting), 12:54; Doan, Pho, minor-major-misconduct (instigator, fighting), 12:54; Downie, TB (roughing), 17:05; Yandle, Pho, served by Ebbett, minor-misconduct (roughing), 17:05. Shots on Goal—Tampa Bay 7-10-6—23. Phoenix 6-7-10—23. Power-play opportunities—Tampa Bay 0 of 1; Phoenix 0 of 2. Goalies—Tampa Bay, Ellis 3-2-1 (23 shots-23 saves). Phoenix, Bryzgalov 3-2-3 (23-20). A—8,171 (17,135).