The Arizona Coyotes needed a fast start, or an offensive lift. Mikkel Boedker needed to find his game.
As it turns out, both Boedker and the Coyotes got exactly what they needed.
The Danish forward scored three goals to lead the Arizona Coyotes to a 4-1 victory over the Ottawa Senators Saturday night in Kanata. Arizona improved to 4-3-1 with the victory, and briefly took possession of first place in the Pacific Division.
To be honest, after taking only two shots against New Jersey and five shots against New York in the first period Tuesday and Thursday, any sign of life from the Coyotes would have been a positive. Instead, the Desert Dogs shot the puck eight times on net in the first, and got something on the scoreboard to show for it.
Mikkel Boedker scored his first of the night on a tremendous individual effort. After receiving the puck from Oliver Ekman-Larsson at center ice, Boedker blew by Erik Karlsson and scored on a backhand over Craig Anderson's shoulder at 18:22 of the first to give the Coyotes the lead.
The star of the second period proved to be Anders Lindback, who weathered 18 Ottawa shots in the frame to keep the Coyotes in the game. He would only surrender one goal; a Cody Ceci goal that came off an absolutely beautiful feed from Bobby Ryan at 18:11 of the second.
Arizona got a spark in the third period from one of its new faces: center Brad Richardson. The third liner positioned himself in front of the Senators' goaltender, and paid a price to score his first of the year at 14:31. Richardson was the first to a rebound off a Jordan Martinook deflection, and managed to pot the goal while being checked.
Mikkel Boedker would add a very important insurance goal just slightly over a minute later. The Danish forward took advantage of a miscommunication among Ottawa players in their defensive zone, and skated in unmolested from the far-side faceoff circle for the easy goal at 15:49.
Two minutes, ten seconds, and an empty net later, Boedker would seal the hat trick and the win with a shot from the blueline at 17:59. It was a much needed road win for the Coyotes, who had not won since beating the Anaheim Ducks on October 14th.
Arizona probably deserved a better fate in New Jersey and New York given how well they controlled the puck down the stretch. The same cannot be said for last night's game in Ottawa.
|Arizona Coyotes||Ottawa Senators|
|First Period Corsi Events||18||17|
|Second Period Corsi Events||8||29|
|Third Period Corsi Events||18||22|
|Total Corsi Events||44||68|
The Coyotes were out-shot pretty consistently from the start of the second period on. But what is noticeable is the fact that the Coyotes stayed relatively close to Ottawa in the third, when the game was on the line. If Arizona can do that consistently, they will win their fair share of games.
Three Stars of the Game
- 3rd Star - Bobby Ryan: His assist to Cody Ceci was a thing of beauty, but he also took a game high eight shots on net. He was hands down the best forward for the Senators.
- 2nd Star - Anders Lindback - Lindback stopped 35 of 36 shots, which goes to show that it is really difficult to assess how good any member of the 2014-15 Buffalo Sabres actually is. He was stellar tonight.
- 1st Star - Mikkel Boedker - Three goals in a single game should get you first star honors. Boedker was an offensive force for a team that desperately needed it.
- Tonight's game will do nothing to disprove the "Mikkel Boedker is a streaky player" narratives, but honestly, who cares? Any player that can go off and score three goals with the skill that Boedker showed tonight is a player worth having on your roster.
- John Scott did pretty much what he was expected to do; he played 6:20, delivered two hits, and didn't take any dumb penalties. Can't ask for a whole lot more.
- No penalties in the third period, which is absolutely critical for the Coyotes. They cannot afford to give their opponents spare chances to get back into a game.
- Jordan Martinook played over 17 minutes in this game. His versatility in the lineup will be a big advantage to the Coyotes if he continues to contribute.
The Coyotes stay in Canada for another game, as they play the Toronto Maple Leafs next on Monday night. Puck drop is at 4:30 PM Arizona time.