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Arizona Coyotes ring in 2016 in style, thanks to Shane Doan

The Arizona Coyotes' captain sets a franchise record for most goals scored as a Coyote as the Desert Dogs defeat the Winnipeg Jets 4-2 Thursday night.

Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Tuesday was a night to forget for the Arizona Coyotes. Thursday was a night to remember.

Shane Doan scored two goals to sit atop the franchise leaderboard in goals all by himself as the Arizona Coyotes defeated the Winnipeg Jets by a final score of 4-2 at Gila River Arena on New Year's Eve.

Game Summary

Even before the game began, Coyotes fans were in a festive mood. After Shane Doan recorded his second career hat-trick late Tuesday in a 7-5 loss, many fans took it upon themselves to show the captain a little love during warm-ups.

The gesture did not stop the Jets from becoming a wet blanket on the festivities early on however. An aggressive forecheck by Alexander Burmistrov forced Louis Domingue to make a save, and while he got the initial stop he couldn't quite corral the rebound, leaving Adam Lowry with just enough space on the far-side post to tuck the puck in at 3:31 of the first period.

From that moment on however, the night became Shane Doan's. A two-on-one play between the past and the future made history, as Doan and Max Domi passed the puck back and forth over a sprawling Winnipeg defender. Shane Doan would receive the puck at point-blank range, and at 9:28 of the first period Doan passed Dale Hawerchuk as the player with the most goals while wearing a Winnipeg/Arizona sweater in franchise history.

In perhaps a sign of things to come, Andrew Ladd got away with spearing Mikkel Boedker in the groin with about five minutes to play in the first period.

The spear would go uncalled, but the Coyotes would get their revenge in the third after the second period passed by with no scoring.

Arizona would start the third period on the power play after Ladd took a cross-checking penalty after the whistle in the second period. This time, it would be Viktor Tikhonov who banged home a Michael Stone shot to give the Coyotes a 2-1 lead at 1:18 of the third.

Adam Lowry would answer back for the Jets though, as an errant clearing attempt up the middle of the ice by Domingue was intercepted. Lowry's one-timer was too fast for Domingue to catch, and at 7:45 the Jets evened the score.

But Winnipeg is not the NHL's most penalized team without good reason, and a crucial mental mistake by Tyler Myers would give the Coyotes exactly the chance they needed. Myers punched Tobias Rieder in the face for no apparent reason, and the referees decided that enough was enough and made Myers sit for roughing.

Shane Doan may be Captain Coyote, but Captain Clutch is Oliver Ekman-Larsson's nickname. OEL found open ice at the top of the near-side faceoff circle, and his wrister found its way past a Shane Doan screen and behind Connor Hellebuyck to give the Coyotes a lead they would not relinquish at 12:35 of the third.

Such a momentous night could only end one way; Jordan Martinook chased down an errant pass by Winnipeg, and fed Shane Doan in front of the empty net to seal the game at 19:46. Arizona would win 4-2, and Shane Doan would cap off a truly memorable night with a pair of goals.

Fancy Stat Report

Winnipeg Jets Arizona Coyotes
First Period Corsi 28 17
Second Period Corsi 31 9
Third Period Corsi 21 16
Total Corsi Events 80 42

Arizona got absolutely dominated in the advanced stats game, particularly at the beginning and end of the second period.

However, Arizona won the penalty differential battle 6-4, and the power play goal differential 2-0, which proved to be the difference in this one. They also got a 35 save performance from Louis Domingue, including a .938 even-strength save percentage.

Paw Prints

  • For the Winnipeg perspective, check out Arctic Ice Hockey.
  • Arizona opted to go with Craig Cunningham and John Scott over Laurent Dauphin and Steve Downie tonight.
  • With an assist tonight, Mikkel Boedker now has six helpers in his last four games.
  • Adam Lowry scored just his second and third goals on the year tonight after scoring 11 last season. His first of the year came on December 10th against Columbus.
  • As if the rest of the accolades weren't enough, Doan's five goals in his last two games place him ahead of Boedker for the team scoring lead this season.
  • Michael Stone's primary assist on Tikhonov's goal leaves him just two assists shy of his career best, which he accomplished last season.
  • Attendance: 14,027

Looking Ahead

With college football bowl season arriving in full force in the Valley tomorrow, the Coyotes begin a crucial swing through Western Canada with a game Saturday afternoon against the Edmonton Oilers. Puck drops at 2 PM Arizona time.