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Arizona Coyotes continue to bleed goals in 5-2 loss to Montreal Canadiens

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The Arizona Coyotes can’t keep the puck out of their own net right now.

Arizona Coyotes v Montreal Canadiens Photo by Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images

The biggest knock on the Arizona Coyotes going into this season was their defense. While most observers (this author included) expected the defense eto improve somewhat, it wasn’t going to be an immediate fix.

This is something else however.

For the second consecutive game, the Arizona Coyotes surrendered five or more goals, this time to the tune of a 5-2 loss at the hands of the Montreal Canadiens on Thursday night. And for the second consecutive game, the starting goaltender did not finish the game, as Louis Domingue was pulled in favor of Justin Peters.

Scoring Summary

First Period

1-0 Montreal - The Habs broke through first on a slap shot goal by Alexei Emelin. Andrew Shaw set up a perfect screen in front of Louis Domingue, who never saw the shot coming. Assists to Paul Byron and David Desharnais on the goal at 13:20.

Second Period

2-0 Montreal - Torrey Mitchell was left all alone at the far-side faceoff dot, where he made short work of Domingue thanks to a great pass from Nathan Beaulieu. Assists to Beaulieu and Paul Byron on the goal at 2:07.

3-0 Montreal - Shea Weber scored his first goal with the Habs in true Shea Weber fashion: via a howitzer on the power play. Assists to Andrei Markov and Tomas Plekanec on the power play goal at 4:06.

4-0 Montreal - The Habs chased Domingue from the net on a pinpoint snipe from Alex Galchenyuk. Luke Schenn attempted to block the shot, but Domingue had a clear look at the puck and simply missed. Assists to Brendan Gallagher and Max Pacioretty on the goal at 5:49.

4-1 Montreal - One of the few bright spots for the Coyotes early on has been Jakob Chychrun. He was rewarded with his first career NHL goal after cleaning up a Tobias Rieder shot that bounced around in the crease. Assists to Martinook and Radim Vrbata on the goal at 6:36.

4-2 Montreal - The Coyotes made things interesting by scoring their first shorthanded goal of the year. Laurent Dauphin successfully forced Nathan Beaulieu to turn the puck over to Brad Richardson in his own zone, and when Price stopped the initial shot Dauphin was there to knock home the rebound. Assist to Richardson on the shorthanded goal at 16:09.

Third Period

5-2 Montreal - The Habs nix any chances of a Coyotes comeback by finally getting to Justin Peters. Artturi Lehkonen was left alone in the slot as the puck bounced through Martin Hanzal’s legs from below the red line. Lehkonen’s one-timer beat Peters for his second career NHL goal. Assists to Tomas Plekanec and Shea Weber on the goal at 12:38.

Three Answers

  1. Can the Coyotes avoid another meltdown? - Arizona surrendered three goals in two and a half minutes during the early stages of the second period; Montreal’s power play goal came after a completely unnecessary roughing double-minor by Ryan White. Once Arizona was down by three, it was impossible for the team to come back.
  2. Which offseason acquisitions will make their presence known? - Ryan White made his presence felt for all the wrong reasons, but Justin Peters played very well in his season debut, with 23 saves on 24 shots in relief of Domingue. Radim Vrbata also added another assist on Chychrun’s goal.
  3. Will Louis Domingue build on his strong 2015-16 season? - Short answer: no. After surviving a fusillade in the early first period, Domingue couldn’t keep the dam from bursting in the second.

Players of the Game

Arizona - Justin Peters: The only reason Arizona had a chance in the third period was due to Peters’ solid play in net.

Montreal - Carey Price: In his season debut, Price stopped 27 of Arizona’s 29 shots, with both conceded goals coming off of rebounds.

Paw Prints

  • For the Montreal reaction, check out Eyes on the Prize.
  • Dave Tippett opted to shunt Laurent Dauphin over to the wing and play Richardson on the fourth line to get both Dylan Strome and Christian Dvorak into the game. Lawson Crouse and Kevin Connauton sat this one out.
  • Arizona never led the shot attempt battle, and ultimately lost it 77-58.
  • Arizona has now given up 15 goals in three games this season.
  • Jakob Chychrun is now the youngest player in Coyotes’ history to score a goal, at 18 years, 6 months, and 21 days.
  • With an assist on the Chychrun goal, Jordan Martinook is tied with Alex Goligoski for the team lead in scoring with three points.

Looking Ahead

Arizona is back in action tomorrow night, when they take on the New York Islanders in Brooklyn. Puck drop is at 4 PM Arizona time.