As far as Alberta is concerned, it's been either feast or famine for the Arizona Coyotes.
Arizona put itself behind the eight-ball very early on. Oliver Ekman-Larsson took a tripping penalty just 32 seconds into the game, and Martin Erat took an interference penalty at 7:28 of the first. While Arizona killed off the first minor, Johnny Gaudreau lit the lamp on the second at 8:49. The Coyotes would stymie themselves once again with a Tobias Rieder penalty at 18:33 to close out the period.
In the second, the Coyotes finally got a little bit of a jump from their depth. Kris Russell blocked two shots for the Calgary Flames, but was out of position to prevent B.J. Crombeen from lifting a third chance opportunity home at 17:09 of the second. With no minor penalties in the middle frame, it would be a quick 20 minutes.
The third period took off much faster than the second did. David Jones somehow managed to drive in all alone after Mike Smith couldn't hold onto a Calgary point shot. There was nothing Smith could do as Jones made it 3-1 Calgary at 1:13 of the third period.
Arizona would tie the game again at 7:28, when Kyle Chipchura caught Jonas Hiller making an ill-advised run out of the crease to play the puck. Hiller froze, didn't move the puck, and subsequently lost it to Chipchura, who found a streaking Craig Cunningham across ice for the Coyotes.
Calgary would answer back less than two minutes later, when Sean Monahan scored on an impressive individual effort at 9:26. Monahan skated into the zone with speed and then stopped suddenly, drawing the defender out of position. He snapped a quick wrister over Smith's glove to make the score 3-2. Though Calgary could not capitalize on a Mike Smith interference penalty just a minute later, they were able to take their one goal lead to the final horn to seal the win.
Our Three Stars of the Game
- 3rd Star - Craig Cunningham: The waiver acquisition had a goal and an assist on the night.
- 2nd Star - Dennis Wideman: Wideman assisted on the opening goal of the game, and on Monahan's winner.
- 1st Star - Sean Monahan: His game winning goal was one he'll want to keep on the highlight reel for a long time. Monahan has played exceptionally well in his second NHL season.
- For the Calgary perspective, check out Matchsticks and Gasoline.
- Lauri Korpikoski was Arizona's only scratch tonight.
- With the exception of Cunningham, every Coyote played at least ten minutes on the night.
- Arizona's top point producers were all held off the score-sheet; only Cunningham, Chipchura, and Crombeen recorded points.
- Calgary went 1 for 4 on the power play, while Arizona had no chances at all.
- Arizona lost the fancy-stats battle 66-59. Calgary had 32 shot attempts in the first compared to Arizona's 16.
- This was the first game between these teams this year decided by only one goal. Arizona was outscored in the season series 20-8.
- With the loss, Arizona is now assured of finishing no better than 29th in the league, which guarantees no lower than the 3rd overall pick in this year's Draft.
Arizona wraps up its road schedule on Thursday night with a game against the Vancouver Canucks. Puck drop is at 7 PM Arizona time.