The Phoenix Coyotes started the 1st and 3rd periods hot and took advantage of a team playing the second game of a back-to-back to cruise to a 4-0 victory on Monday night in front of a sold out crowd of 17,208.
Mike Smith earned his third shutout of the month of February after stopping all 30 shots by the Calgary Flames. "The team deserved to not let a goal in tonight," Smith said.
[Complete Coverage] - [Calgary Reaction]
With the victory, the Coyotes move into 6th place in the conference and 2nd place in the Pacific Division with 18 points (8-6-2).
It took the Coyotes only 41 seconds to get to the goalie with only 20 minutes of NHL experience (coming into play) as the Yotes grabbed the early 1-0 lead. Calgary had a flurry of its own, dominating play and hitting a post before the Coyotes could stop play. A few minutes later, Paul Bissonnette and Tim Jackman dropped the gloves. Bissonnette landed a jaw-jacking right hand on Jackman that drew "ooohs" from the crowd when replayed.
Both Mike Smith and Daniel Taylor held their own in a scoreless second period that saw 23 total shots. Calgary had more shots and scoring chances in the period but could not convert.
Phoenix dominated the third period. The Coyotes jumped on the Flames early in the third by scoring the second goal of the game just 30 seconds after the second intermission. Boedker scored his third of the season after backhanding a puck through Taylor's five-hole. Some phenomenal stick work by Boedker at offensive the blue line allowed him to get a pass to Oliver Ekman-Larsson. Ekman-Larsson shot the puck on net and the rebound stayed in the crease. A scum ensued, but eventually Antoine Vermette would knock it in to give the Yotes a 3-0 lead. Raffi Torres scored with 3:11 remaining to give the Desert Dogs an insurance marker. The Flames did play last night and it looked like fatigue set in for them late in the game.
- The only other NHL experience Danny Taylor had coming into the game was playing one period in net for the Los Angeles Kings on March 29, 2008. He allowed two goals on 10 shots in that period.
- Willie O'Ree was in attendance; he was the first African-American player in NHL history. His favorite Coyote? Raffi Torres.
- 11 different Coyotes had a shot on goal in the opening period.
- Shane Doan hit the cross-bar for the second game in a row as he seeks to tie Keith Tkachuk for the 2nd most goals in Coyotes history.
- The Coyotes improved to 12-1-2 when facing a goalie in their first NHL start.
- Phoenix is now 103-4-4 under Dave Tippett when leading after two periods.
- Torres' two points marked his first multi-point game since Mar 22, 2012.
- Moss' had two assists tonight. It was his first multi-point game as a Coyote.
Five For Winning:
1. Defense: The Coyotes are going to need to play smart, defensive hockey to stop the Calgary offense. This means the little things like limiting turnovers in their own zone, and keeping shots to the outside, things that we know they can do very well, they just need to do them. The Coyotes gave up 30 shots but not too many scoring chances; the game was truly a team shutout.
2. Shots from everyone: Calgary goaltenders don't have the best save numbers. If the Coyotes keep shooting the puck they may get a few lucky breaks and a few dirty goals. Phoenix took 37 shots in the game and got four past Taylor for a save percentage of .892.
3. Play physical: Calgary will be coming into this game tired, having played last night in Dallas. The Coyotes will not only be well rested, but they have a break coming up so they don't have to worry about holding back. The Yotes need to check hard and often, and wear out the Calgary team. The Flames out hit the Yotes 41-24 in the game but solid back-checking by the forwards helped tire out the Flames.
4. Special teams: The Phoenix power play unit has been good as of late, and they will be going up against a fairly weak unit who is only killing penalties at a rate of 72.3%. Conversely the Flames power play unit is nothing to sneeze at. They are currently fourth in the NHL with a power play conversion rate of 26.5%, although the Desert Dogs have been good on the kill with a 83.9% successful kill rate. Only two penalties were called. Each team was 0/1 on the power play.
5. Discipline: The Coyotes took another pointless penalty against the Blue Jackets when they were called for too many men on the ice early in the 2nd period. Although it isn't as bad as we have seen the Yotes play, they really need to clean up their game and stop giving other teams those opportunities. The refs let the players play tonight calling only two penalties. There were several ticky-tac calls that could have been made but weren't to the credit of tonight's officials.
Our Three Stars Of The Game
1. Mike Smith: This one is quite obvious. A 30-save shutout is worthy of the #1 star.
2. Antoine Vermette: Two points (a goal and an assist) and won 57 percent of his draws.
3. Oliver Ekman-Larsson: Two assists and +3 on the night.
There was also this:
The Coyotes will not play again until Saturday night when their western Canada tour begins in Edmonton. They will then play Calgary on Monday and Vancouver on Wednesday.