While they woke up in time to make it to overtime, they were not able to come away with two points thanks to a questionable non-call and a three-on-one rush by the Devils to win.
The first period was a sleeper, to say the least. While Arizona didn't make any noteworthy mistakes, they only got two shots on Cory Schneider, which is absolutely inexcusable. That being said, New Jersey only took five shots themselves, so it wasn't like chances were coming fast and furious.
The fireworks began in earnest in the second period, when Kyle Chipchura and Jordin Tootoo took it upon themselves to get their respective clubs going. Their fight off the opening face-off didn't do much to get the puck in the net though; it took an Arizona power play to do that.
Unfortunately, the power play for Arizona has been more deadly to the Coyotes than it has been to opposing teams. And sure enough, the Devils scored on the Coyotes' power play after another missed pass from Mikkel Boedker eventually ended up on Travis Zajac's stick and in the net with 50 seconds to go in the period.
Unlike the game against Boston however, Arizona responded shortly after taking the ice in the third. Martin Hanzal, Max Domi, and Anthony Duclair beautifully exploited the Devils' penalty kill with a clean zone entry and smart passes by Hanzal and Domi. Domi commanded enough attention to let Duclair sneak in behind and score at :47 of the third.
At this point, the game picked up intensity. Mike Cammelleri potted one on a shot that Mike Smith never saw at 7:09. While it looked like the Coyotes were not going to be able to muster a response, with Mike Smith pulled, Mikkel Boedker - relieved of his point man duties - scored the tying goal with less than a minute remaining.
In overtime, Coyotes fans had reason to hope that Arizona's skilled youngsters would have a chance to showcase their skills on the open ice. Unfortunately, a questionable cross-check on Martin Hanzal went uncalled, and on the ensuing 3 on 1 the Devils found Adam Larsson for the game winner.
Three Stars of the Game
3rd Star - Cory Schneider - Schneider went relatively untested early on. However, he made some key saves late in the game to keep the Coyotes from taking the lead.
2nd Star - Max Domi - His assist on the Duclair goal was a perfect read of the play, and he was actually able to stop the initial pass on the eventual 3 on 1 game winner in overtime.
1st Star - Travis Zajac - A goal and two assists for the long-time Devil. He was a major presence on the ice, in every zone, all night long.
The Coyotes kept the shot attempts close, which in some ways reflects how low-event the early going was and how much work both teams have to do towards building a winner.
|Arizona Coyotes||New Jersey Devils|
|First Period Corsi Events||8||9|
|Second Period Corsi Events||18||18|
|Third Period Corsi Events||14 (+1 OT)||9 (+1 OT)|
|Total Corsi Events||41||37|
Still, Arizona didn't need to come back very far to match the Devils' totals, and in fact surged when the team needed a goal late:
Though the team has plenty to work on, if the Coyotes can continue to hold the offensive zone and create meaningful possession in key situations, that will translate to success more often than not.
- The Mikkel Boedker Experiment on the point appeared to reach its merciful conclusion after the Zajac shorthanded goal. Moved down low, Boedker looked significantly more comfortable.
- Despite the conversation all game long with the Coyotes broadcast team about how Arizona looked energized and fresh during the morning skate, the Coyotes started slowly yet again. It did not cost them any goals, but it also meant Arizona could not dictate play as the game went on.
- In the last five minutes, the Coyotes really seemed to get the importance of taking as many shots towards the net as possible. They need to have that mentality earlier in the game, not when they need a tying goal.
The Coyotes don't have to travel far to get to their next opponent. They play the New York Rangers Thursday night at Madison Square Garden. Puck drop will once again be at 4 PM Arizona time.