For the second time after a big victory, the Arizona Coyotes were not able to string together consistent performances.
Arizona fell 3-2 to the visiting Winnipeg Jets on Thursday night in a game where the Coyotes struggled to find their offense
1-0 Winnipeg: The Jets got on the board first off the stick of Andrew Copp. The 22 year old from Ann Arbor, Michigan collected a loose puck in the neutral zone and blew by both Luke Schenn and Max Domi to beat Louis Domingue from the near-side faceoff circle. Assists to Mark Scheifele and Tobias Enstrom on the goal at 4:50.
1-1 Tie: Radim Vrbata continues to provide value for the Coyotes, as he scored his fifth of the season just five minutes later. Jordan Martinook fought off two Winnipeg defenders below the net and found Vrbata at the near-side faceoff circle. Vrbata unleashed a slap-shot that Connor Hellebuyck had no chance at stopping. Assists to Martinook and Jamie McGinn on the goal at 9:48.
2-1 Winnipeg: It won’t be credited as a power play goal, but for all intents and purposes it was. In the dying seconds of a Jakob Chychrun penalty, Blake Wheeler drifted away from the front of the net into a soft spot in the penalty kill coverage. With no Coyotes on him Wheeler was able to one-time a feed through Louis Domingue, and continue the trend of former-Coyotes scoring against their old team. Assists to Nic Petan and Tyler Myers on the goal at 10:18.
3-1 Winnipeg: The Jets added an insurance goal thanks to Nikolaj Ehlers. Patrik Laine deflected an attempted outlet pass from Oliver Ekman-Larsson into a soft spot in front of Domingue. With all of the Coyotes already turned upward to begin the rush, Ehlers had plenty of room to capitalize. Assist to Laine on the goal at 16:46.
3-2 Winnipeg: The Ehlers goal would prove costly, as the Coyotes managed to score a second goal in the dying seconds of the third. Shane Doan, Max Domi, and Brad Richardson all combined to create havoc in front of the Winnipeg net. No Jet was able to clear, and the puck eventually squirted out to a pinching Tobias Rieder, who roofed the puck over Hellebuyck for his third goal of the season. Assists to Domi and Doan on the six-on-five goal at 19:58.
- Can the Coyotes get off to a strong start? - While Arizona conceded an early goal, they were able to get it back in relatively quick fashion thanks to hard work from Jordan Martinook. Unfortunately, most of their goals in this game were unforced errors.
- Will the kids keep it up? - Anthony DeAngelo registered only one shot in 21:19 worth of ice time, while Jakob Chychrun’s holding penalty in the second set up the Blake Wheeler goal. Still, Jordan Martinook, Tobias Rieder, and Max Domi all made appearances on the scoresheet for Arizona.
- Has the goaltending situation stabilized? - Domingue didn’t look terrible in this game, despite his .889 save percentage. The first goal came off of a defensive miscue, the second goal might as well have been a power play goal, and the third goal was a brutal turnover by Oliver Ekman-Larsson right in front of the net. While the Coyotes would have loved for Domingue to snag one of those, they’re called high-danger scoring chances for a reason.
Players of the Game
Winnipeg - Andrew Copp - Copp opened the scoring for Winnipeg and made the most of his 14:54, taking a pair of shots, while registering a hit, a blocked shot, and a takeaway.
Arizona - Jordan Martinook - The shift from forward to center appears to have made Martinook’s already effective game even better. He beat two defenders single-handedly along the boards to set up Radim Vrbata’s goal in the first period. Even when Martin Hanzal returns, Martinook seems to have settled into the center position with ease.
- For more on the Winnipeg Jets, check out Arctic Ice Hockey.
- No Kevin Connauton or Dylan Strome again for the Coyotes.
- Max Domi’s assist on the Tobias Rieder goal was his 10th of the season, which ties him for 8th in the NHL.
- Blake Wheeler’s goal was his first since October 17th versus the Boston Bruins.
- There were only three power plays total in this game. The Coyotes by themselves had four against the Colorado Avalanche on Tuesday.
- Shane Doan’s assist on the Tobias Rieder goal was only his fourth point of the season, and his first since October 21st against the New York Islanders. Doan has not scored a goal since the Coyotes’ season opener on October 15th.
Arizona welcomes the Boston Bruins to town on Saturday night for their first meeting of the season. Puck drop is at 6 PM Arizona time.