The Arizona Coyotes are probably happy for the All-Star Break to arrive. They certainly looked like it in tonight's game versus the Chicago Blackhawks.
Mike Smith made 45 saves and Lucas Lessio scored for the Coyotes as they dropped their sixth game in a row by a final score of 6-1.
The Blackhawks got off to a strong start as one of the Coyotes' sore spots all season again reared its ugly head. Jonathan Toews scored on the power play after a bad Lucas Lessio tripping minor to give Chicago a 1-0 lead at 6:53 of the 1st period.
Chicago was not done in the first though. Andrew Shaw would add a goal off of a nifty spin-o-rama move directly in front of Mike Smith. Kyle Chipchura simply was unable to keep Shaw from collecting the puck from Tuevo Teravainen and Bryan Bickell and getting to the net after some board play behind the goal. The two Chicago goals were the focal point of an extremely busy first for Smitty, who faced 20 shots in the first frame.
The second period started marginally better than the first. The Coyotes received an early power play but couldn't convert. Chicago added their third goal on the night from a Patrick Kane wrist shot at 3:51 of the second. It gets worse from there though; Teravainen scored his second career goal at 9:42 in the second.
Arizona finally got its first tally of the night on a beautiful career first tally for young pup Lucas Lessio. Lessio was sprung on a breakaway thanks to nice passes from Sam Gagner and Keith Yandle. However the good feelings would only last so long, as Andrew Shaw scored his second of the night on a pass from Duncan Keith. Smith saw 37 shots in two periods, which was just six short of the season high in a single game.
Despite the blowout score, Chicago still had some offense left. The Blackhawks scored a sixth goal off the stick of former Coyotes defenseman David Rundblad (though Brandon McMillan may have had a hand in knocking the puck in). Though the Coyotes outshot the Blackhawks 17-14 in the final period, none of those shots found their way in.
Three Stars of the Game
3rd Star - Lucas Lessio - Scored his first career NHL goal, which is always special regardless of the circumstances.
2nd Star- Antti Raanta - Raanta stopped 35 of 36 shots, which is a pretty darn good performance even when your team is scoring in front of you.
1st Star - Andrew Shaw - Two goals and eight shots on net. That's a pretty fine offensive performance on a team loaded with stars.
- For the Chicago perspective, visit Second City Hockey.
- Mikkel Boedker missed tonight's game after having his spleen removed following the Winnipeg game Sunday evening. The injury broke a streak of 257 consecutive NHL games.
- The Coyotes mustered 49 Corsi events on the night. That sounds respectable until you consider that they gave up 82 Corsi events.
- Your time-on-ice leader for the game: Michael Stone at 22:42 (Oliver Ekman-Larsson was six seconds behind him).
- Tonight was Antti Raanta's first game since January 9th.
- Six Blackhawks recorded multiple points in tonight's game.
Arizona is off for the next week during All-Star Weekend, until Tuesday the 27th when they visit the Philadelphia Flyers. Puck drop for that game is scheduled at 5 PM Arizona time.