As bad as the first trek to the East Coast this season was for the Arizona Coyotes, this trip is somehow off to an even worse start.
Arizona’s defense was completely absent and Mike Smith was pulled mid-game in the course of an ugly 7-0 loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins on Monday night in Pittsburgh.
1-0 Pittsburgh - Scott Wilson opened the scoring for Pittsburgh as his wrist shot from the top of the far-side faceoff circle beat an unobstructed Mike Smith glove side. It was a perfectly placed shot, but ultimately one that Smith should have stopped. Assist to Matt Cullen on the goal at 8:40.
2-0 Pittsburgh - Nick Bonino added to Pittsburgh’s lead with a tally off of a bad turnover behind the net by Oliver Ekman-Larsson. His pass to Martin Hanzal was deflected to Bonino’s stick, who easily rifled a shot over Smith. No assists on the goal at 4:30.
3-0 Pittsburgh - The onslaught continued with another bad defensive turnover, as Michael Stone coughed up the puck in the low slot to Trevor Daley. Daley one-timed the puck past Mike Smith to give the Penguins a three goal lead. No assists on the goal at 6:58.
4-0 Pittsburgh - Pittsburgh’s fourth goal would spell the end of Mike Smith’s night, as Olli Maatta intercepted Mike Smith’s haphazard clearing attempt after an unfortunate bounce off of the defensive boards. Maatta fed Bryan Rust in the slot, who made no mistake against Smith. Assist to Maatta on the goal at 8:30.t in the mi
5-0 Pittsburgh - Sidney Crosby demonstrated why he is the best player in the NHL, as he batted in a midair rebound from the top of the crease against Louis Domingue on the power play. Assists to Evgeni Malkin and Kris Letang on the power play goal at 15:13.
6-0 Pittsburgh - The Penguins scored a touchdown on a slap shot from Phil Kessel from the top of the near-side faceoff circle as Evgeni Malkin cleared space for Kessel to take his shot. Assists to Malkin and Carl Hagelin on the goal at 1:20.
7-0 Pittsburgh - Justin Schultz recorded the extra point for the Penguins on a slap shot while on the power play after his first attempt failed to find twine. The Penguins would collect his missed shot, and feed the puck back to him in the high slot for Pittsburgh’s seventh goal on the night., Assists to Nick Bonino and Conor Sheary on the power play goal at 12:26.
1. Will Shane Doan get 400? - Hard to get to 400 when your team doesn’t score any goals.
2. Can the kids handle the champs? - Jakob Chychrun made a mistake that led to a goal in the second period, but other than that it was the veterans that seemed to let the Coyotes down in this game.
3. Will the Coyotes be able to kill penalties while on the road? - Arizona had a pretty abysmal showing on the power play tonight, although at least some of that has to be attributed to the talent they were facing. They gave up two power play goals, but gave Pittsburgh seven opportunities. Hard to score with that many times shorthanded.
Players of the Game
Arizona - None - At the risk of repeating what I already said on Twitter, Arizona’s veterans have not played to the level necessary to succeed in the NHL, and their deficiencies were on display tonight. The youngsters are giving their all and learning from mistakes. The veterans aren’t.
Pittsburgh - Nick Bonino - Bonino scored a goal and added an assist tonight for the Penguins, but there are plenty of players on the Pens that you could give this to, like Sidney Crosby or Evgeni Malkin. It was a team victory for Pittsburgh tonight.
- For more on the Pittsburgh Penguins, check out Pensburgh.
- For the second consecutive game, Anthony Duclair was a healthy scratch for the Coyotes. If he wasn’t bound for Tucson before, he’s gotta be close now.
- Josh Jooris played for the first time in Sedona Red tonight. He logged 12:45 for Arizona.
- Tobias Rieder had a shorthanded chance in early in the game for the Coyotes, but he was ultimately denied by Matt Murray.
- Chris Kunitz, Tom Kuhnhackl, and Patric Hornqvist were the only Penguins’ forwards without points tonight
Arizona has to forget this loss immediately, as they play the Detroit Red Wings tomorrow night in Detroit. Puck drop is at 5:30 PM Arizona time.