Dylan Strome was obviously disappointed to not play in the Arizona Coyotes’ season opener. But when his number was called tonight against the Ottawa Senators, he made the most of it.
Strome recorded his first NHL point on Arizona’s opening goal of the night, but as the game progressed all eyes focused on the other end of the ice, as Mike Smith left with what appeared to be a significant injury as the Coyotes fell 7-4.
1-0 Arizona - Tobias Rieder is back to form with the Coyotes as he showed up at the right place and the right time to bang home a rebound created by Dylan Strome’s high-slot point shot. Assists to Strome and Connor Murphy on the goal at 12:18.
1-1 Tie - Ottawa needed just four seconds to score on its first power play of the night. Erik Karlsson fed Mike Hoffman in the high point, who bounced a wrist shot off of Bobby Ryan and past Mike Smith. Assists to Hoffman and Karlsson on the power play goal at 13:41.
2-1 Ottawa - Shortly after scoring the power play goal, Ottawa took advantage of a very sloppy defensive effort by Martin Hanzal, Kevin Connauton, and Jamie McBain. The puck bounced between all three Coyotes’ defenders and to the stick of Tom Pyatt, who easily snuck the puck behind Mike Smith. No assists on the goal at 15:16.
3-1 Ottawa - Strome coughed up the puck at center-ice on a Coyotes’ power play , which lead to a Senators two-on-one. Oliver Ekman-Larsson committed to play the shot, and Tom Pyatt found Zack Smith for the shorthanded tally. Assists to Tom Pyatt and Cody Ceci on the shorthanded goal at 13:04.
3-2 Ottawa - After Arizona received a five-on-three opportunity at the end of the second period, the Coyotes took it into the third. Oliver Ekman-Larsson was the beneficiary of a Martin Hanzal screen, and his wrist shot brought the Coyotes to within one. Assists to Shane Doan and Alex Goligoski on the power play goal at 1:01.
4-2 Ottawa - After Mike Smith left the game with an injury, the Senators wasted no time welcoming Louis Domingue to the ice. Martin Hanzal coughed the puck up in the defensive end, and Chris Kelly pounced on it just twelve seconds after Domingue came in. No assists on the goal at 7:30.
5-2 Ottawa - As if the first play Domingue faced wasn’t bad enough, the Coyotes were not able to keep the crease clear. Kyle Turris’ initial shot was stopped by Domingue, and Mark Stone was there to knock home the rebound. Assists to Turris and Hoffman on the goal at 8:11.
5-3 Ottawa - Arizona finally stopped the bleeding, as Alex Goligoski did a tremendous job keeping the puck in at the blue-line and finding Jordan Martinook unattended at the far-side faceoff circle. Martinook rifled a shot past Anderson to pull the Coyotes back within two. Assist to Goligoski on the goal at 10:07.
6-3 Ottawa - Because fate wanted this game to be as cruel to the Coyotes as possible, Kyle Turris scored a goal of his own on a Mike Hoffman feed cross-ice. Assists to Hoffman and Mark Stone on the goal at 18:13.
6-4 Ottawa - Arizona still kept up the fight, as Jordan Martinook lodged his second of the game by bouncing the puck in off of Senators’ rookie defenseman Thomas Chabot. Assists to Connor Murphy and Brad Richardson on the goal at 18:43.
7-4 Ottawa - With the Coyotes’ net empty, Erik Karlsson blocked a Max Domi slapshot and then proceeded to beat Domi and every other Coyote up ice to score the empty-netter. Assist to Chris Kelly on the empty-net goal at 19:47.
1. Can the rookies keep it up?
Dylan Strome took less than a period to record his first NHL point, an assist after Tobias Rieder batted home a beautiful wrist shot. Strome did an excellent job getting the puck on net on that play.
If anything, it was the Coyotes’ veterans who needed to step up. Martin Hanzal coughed up a brutal turnover 12 seconds after Domingue came in, and Connor Murphy let Kyle Turris get inside position on Domingue on the Stone goal less than a minute later.
2. Will the special teams keep it up?
The Coyotes conceded a goal on their first penalty kill of the game, while the power play only converted once in five opportunities. Arizona had a power play late in the third period that could have brought the score to within one, but were unable to convert.
3. Can the Coyotes keep a lead this time?
After jumping out to a 1-0 lead, the Coyotes surrendered two goals in quick succession. They had a fighting chance at climbing all the way back, but the Mike Smith injury and subsequent meltdown absolutely killed Arizona.
Players of the Game
Arizona - Jordan Martinook - Martinook played an all-around solid game, but it was his two goals in the third period that stopped the bleeding for the Coyotes and gave them a fighting chance.
Ottawa - Mike Hoffman - Hoffman had three assists on the night and was instrumental in creating scoring chances for his teammates all night long.
- For the Ottawa Senators perspective, check out Silver Seven.
- Christian Dvorak and Jakob Chychrun sat this game out as Strome and Kevin Connauton drew in for the first time this season.
- Jamie McGinn remained scratched with injury issues. The Coyotes are hoping both he and Michael Stone will be ready to play at some point during this road trip.
- Mike Smith left in the third period with an apparent leg injury. There was no official word about his status other than that he would be re-evaluated tomorrow, but his reaction suggests it is not good.
- Arizona finished behind in the shot count 42-35 after outshooting the Senators 27-24 through two periods.
Arizona heads up to Montreal this upcoming Thursday with several questions to answer. Puck drop is at 4:30 PM Arizona time