The Arizona Coyotes came into Saturday's game looking for redemption. A blowout loss at home on opening night preceded Saturday's affair, leaving many in an already panicked Coyotes fanbase very concerned.
Arizona got off to yet another poor start on Saturday, giving up a goal on the first shot of the game. Unlike Thursday, the Coyotes were able to maintain control of the game throughout and claw their way to a 3-2 overtime win.
Oliver Ekman-Larsson was the hero in overtime, as the Coyotes fanbase took a collective sigh of relief after the puck hit the back of the net.
After Mike Smith's poor performance against the Winnipeg Jets, coach Dave Tippett elected to turn to new back-up Devan Dubnyk against the defending Stanley Cup champions.
"Smith admittedly said he did not feel comfortable in the first game, and I wanted to get Dubnyk in," Tippett said. We talked about getting Dubnyk in one of these first four and this was an opportunity tonight."
Unfortunately, the 28-year-old did not fare much better than his Canadian counterpart early on, giving up a goal in the first two minutes, on the first shot he faced of his Coyotes career.
The Coyotes gave up the first two goals of the game to Los Angeles. Tanner Pearson was the beneficiary of a mid-ice cluster of two Coyotes defensemen and a Kings forward that saw the puck slip out of Arizona's control and onto Pearson's stick for the easy top shelf goal. Jeff Carter added to the lead with his first goal of the season, giving the Kings a multi-goal lead.
"I was just pushing a little too hard, you know obviously you come out real excited and everybody's excited to get last game behind us and move forward," Dubnyk said. "I was just squeezing a little too much and that's exactly what happens when you squeeze, shots find a way through you because you're a little too tense. I've played enough games that I just told myself to relax and be patient and enjoy it, there's no reason to put extra pressure on myself."
Late in the period, Dubnyk was forced to make a spinning, head over heels save to keep the deficit at two and his teammates rewarded him.
With 39 seconds remaining in the first period and the Coyotes on the power play, Antoine Vermette tipped a Keith Yandle point shot past Quick to halve LA's lead.
The Coyotes went into the intermission hoping to build on their late surge, and boy did they. Arizona stormed out of the gates in the second controlling play until Keith Yandle sprung Mikkel Boedker for a breakaway. The Dane tucked the puck past Quick stick-side to tie the game.
Period three looked more like a classic Kings-Coyotes game -- slow, methodical and physical. The pace quickened with an Arizona disallowed goal followed by a Kings power play. The Desert Dogs killed off the power play and Dubnyk made a crucial save on a Tyler Toffoli partial breakaway with 10 seconds left in regulation.
The save proved to be vital as the Coyotes took their first lead of the 2014-15 season on Ekman-Larsson's game-winning overtime goal. It was two points the Coyotes, and their fans, desperately needed.
“I took a couple bad shots there in the beginning and then the last one, it felt great to score a goal, and we had a good crowd there tonight," Ekman-Larsson said.
- LA's perspective: Jewels From The Crown
- Yandle's three assists gave him his first multi-point game of the season after having 13 last season.
- Oliver Ekman-Larsson set a new career high for shots in a game with eight shots
- The Coyotes had two faceoff violations on Saturday. Keep your hands on the stick.
- Arizona outshot LA 40-26.
- Attendance: 12,859
1. Oliver Ekman-Larsson - GWG and an all around solid game for the young phenom.
2. Keith Yandle - Three assists, including a beautiful set-up on the tying goal.
3. Devan Dubnyk - Bounced back from a rough start to stop 26 of 28 shots.
The Coyotes have a few days off before welcoming the Edmonton Oilers to town on Wednesday. Puck drop on game three of a four-game homestand is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.