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Phoenix Coyotes @ Philadelphia Flyers Recap: The Greiss is Right

After two ugly losses, the Coyotes finished off a sweep of back to back road games with a gutsy performance in Philly.

The Power of Greiss Compels You!
The Power of Greiss Compels You!
Bruce Bennett

It's early in the season, but it's never too early to talk about statement wins.  With their backs against the wall, the Coyotes got a much needed win against the Detroit Red Wings Thursday night and followed that up with another fantastic effort, getting a toughly fought road win tonight.

The Coyotes would get the all important first goal early in the proceedings tonight.  Tim Kennedy sent the puck around the boards and Derek Morris sent an innocent looking shot toward the Flyers goal.  The puck would hit Rob Klinkhammer in front and dribble past the feet of Steve Mason for the early tally, just 2:41 into the 1st period.

The Flyers would get an opportunity at the equalizer shorthanded when Michael Stone bobbled a puck at the blueline and Adam Hall corralled it and broke in alone on Thomas Greiss.  Stone would take down Hall from behind, giving the Flyers a penalty shot.Greiss, making his first Coyote start, would keep the puck from slipping under him as it rolled off of Hall's stick.

The other highlight of the period was a spirited bout between Paul Bissonnette and Zac Rinaldo following a Rinaldo charging minor.  It wouldn't be the last time that number 36 found his way into the sin bin on this evening.

The Flyers would answer in the second period, drawing even when Maxime Talbot redirected a spinning shot from Rinaldo off his skate past Greiss with 2:31 left to go.  It seemed that Flyers had seized the momentum of the game, but as Zac Rinaldo giveth so does he taketh away.  He took a bad high sticking penalty with 27 seconds left in the period and the Coyotes powerplay made him pay.  Mike Ribeiro made a nifty pass from the low boards to Oliver Ekman-Larsson at the point.  OEL would make a wonderful move to leave Talbot in his dust and got enough on his wrist shot to power it through Mason's attempted glove save to give the Coyotes a 2-1 lead with 13 seconds left in the 2nd.

From there on out, it was up to Thomas Greiss to make it hold up and he did.  The German goaltender was fantastic on the evening, stopping 36 of the 37 shots he faced, including all 10 in the final period.  The road trip and 6th period in 24 hours caught up to the Yotes in the 3rd, as they had trouble maintaining pressure and allowed the Flyers to gain more possession.  But the defense held up and Greiss made the saves.

"That's the role of that player on your team," Dave Tippett said after the game in reference to Greiss.  "He's got to go in in some very tough situations and give yourself a chance to win.  He stepped up and he did that tonight."

Paw Prints

  • After winning 48 of 70 face-offs against the Red Wings on Thursday, the Coyotes were brought back to earth a little tonight.  They only won 32 of 66 for 48%.  Antoine Vermette had another good night at the dots though, winning 16 of 28 draws.
  • The Coyote 4th line had a strong night.  Klinkhammer got the 1st goal of the game, Tim Kennedy added his 1st point with the Coyotes with an assist on that goal, and Bissonnette did his job in standing toe to toe with Rinaldo.
  • Speaking of Rinaldo, it was tough night.  He did have the primary assist on the Flyers' lone goal, but he also did more than his share to damage his team's chances of winning, including taking the penalty that the eventual game winning goal was scored on.  He had 3 minor penalties and the fighting major.
  • The Coyotes special teams were instrumental in the victory.  While the powerplay wasn't pretty much of the night, they did get the OEL goal on the man advantage and closed out the game on the powerplay after Shane Doan drew a penalty from Andrej Meszaros with under 2 minutes to go.  Meszaros didn't like the call and earned a 2 minute unsportsmanlike conduct and a 10 min misconduct for arguing the holding call.  All told, the Coyotes went 1 for 6 with the advantage, but importantly, the penalty kill was sharp, succeeding in all 4 situations.
  • Every game the Coyotes have played so far this season has seen a goal scored in the opening 4 minutes of play.  The latest goal so far was Kyle Chipchura's season opener at 3:36.

Our Three Stars of the Night

  1. Thomas Greiss: He made a great impression on his new teammates, stopping 36 shots in his first start and making a penalty shot save.  The Coyotes needed to upgrade their backup goaltender position and the early returns indicate that Greiss is doing just that.
  2. Oliver Ekman-Larsson: The 22 year old phenom continues to make the game look very easy.  His powerplay tally was a slick individual effort, he had 4 shots on goal, added 3 hits and led all skaters with 25:28 of ice time.  Enjoy watching him people, talent like this doesn't come around often.
  3. Shane Doan: The Captain had his best game of the young season tonight.  He had 4 shots in 18:21 of action and his fantastic effort on the Coyotes last even strength shift was the kind of play that Captains are supposed to make.  He knew his team was on the ropes and pulled them to victory.

Comment of the Night:

and gee…here I thought it would be 1-1 and carryover PP time…. but this is better… deflating Goal and a 2-1 lead!

by GuruB on Oct 11, 2013

Looking Ahead

The Coyotes finish their longest road trip of the season Sunday morning against the Carolina Hurricanes.  Puck drop is 10 am Arizona time.  It will be broadcast on 3TV (KTVK) and KMVP 860 AM.