The Arizona Coyotes witnessed an onslaught of pressure from the Vancouver Canucks during the third period and a power play goal from former Coyote Radim Vrbata. Yet the Coyotes squad, featuring mostly veterans, aside from youngster Max Domi, was able to hold on for a victory in regulation Monday night at Rogers Arena. A solid display in net from Mike Smith coupled with a handful of scrappy goals proved to be enough for a win.
Vancouver opened up the scoring as Derek Dorsett capitalized on a Coyotes neutral-ice turnover about five minutes into the first frame, beating Smith on an odd-man rush. However, the Coyotes would respond later in the period, as Joe Vitale caught Canucks goaltender Ryan Miller slightly out of position, knotting the game at 1-1.
Arizona added two in the second period, the first coming at the hands of Brandon McMillan, whose shot was initially saved but trickled in off of Canucks defenseman Luca Sbisa's skate. Later in the period, after the Coyotes' first few power play chances of the tilt had been foiled, Shane Doan tipped a Mikkel Boedker shot past Miller to put the Coyotes up 3-1 before the 2nd intermission.
The third period would usher in a surge of Vancouver offensive chances, culminating in a goal for Vrbata against his former team courtesy of a beautifully executed power play passing display. Despite the ongoing late effort by the Canucks, David Moss would the seal the deal with a tough goal late in the period, extending the Coyotes lead to two, a 4-2 lead that would hold until the final horn.
- Vancouver's perspective: Nucks Misconduct
- The Coyotes consistently outshot their opponent in all three periods: 10-9, 12-8 and 13-8 respectively.
- Although puck movement on the power play was respectable, the Coyotes struggled at times to generate legitimate scoring chances, and only cashed in once on five opportunities.
- Domi joined a crew of veterans and looked shaky throughout two periods, often seeming to be out of control and unsure with the puck. By the third period, however, he had calmed down and showed signs of creative brilliance on offense.
- Both starting goaltenders, Smith and Miller, played the entire game in net for their respective squads.
- Oliver Ekman-Larsson took a tumble over Canucks forward Daniel Sedin during the second period, appearing shaken up at first but recovering quickly. You can all breathe.
- Defenseman Keith Yandle spent 24:03 on the ice, leading all Coyotes skaters.
Three Stars of the Game
- 3rd Star - Keith Yandle - Led the Coyotes in ice time and quarterbacked a power play that shows promise. He was inches away from scoring on more than one occasion.
- 2nd Star - Alexander Edler - Made a solid return to the Canucks' lineup after being sidelined for an extended period of time with an injury. Led all skaters in ice time.
- 1st Star - Joe Vitale - With a goal and an assist, Vitale turned his line into not just a tough group of body-bangers, but a genuine offensive threat as well.
The Coyotes will travel next to Edmonton to take on the Oilers in another preseason bout on Wednesday. The puck will drop at 6 p.m.