The Arizona Coyotes have developed the unfortunate habit of losing Shane Doan’s milestone games this year.
Doan notched goal number 400 in his career tonight, but it was not enough for Arizona, as they fell 4-1 to Auston Matthews and the Toronto Maple Leafs.
1-0 Toronto - Toronto got off to a strong start as Connor Brown gained an extra step on Alex Goligoski and roofed a shot over Mike Smith from the far-side faceoff circle. Assists to Auston Matthews and Zach Hyman on the goal at 3:04.
2-0 Toronto - Connor Murphy took a high-sticking penalty 13 seconds into the period, and Toronto took advantage 30 seconds. Leo Komarov took position at the top of the crease and tipped Jake Gardiner’s point shot in. Assists to Gardiner and Connor Brown on the power play goal at :36.
2-1 Toronto - Shane Doan finally got goal number 400 on a great move by Connor Murphy slicing through the Toronto defense. Murphy fed Doan on the near-side, who one-timed the puck from behind his right skate and past a sprawling Frederik Andersen. Assists to Murphy and Peter Holland on the goal at 19:16.
3-1 Toronto - Michael Stone failed to hold the puck at the offensive zone, and then got caught flat-footed by Leo Komarov. Komarov went forehand-backhand through Smith’s pads to restore Toronto’s two-goal lead. No assists on the goal at 6:26.
4-1 Toronto - William Nylander artfully undressed Mike Smith after beating Oliver Ekman-Larsson. He collected the puck in stride, let up slightly, and then gracefully flicked the puck to the far corner of the net as Smith was diving the other direction. Assists to Morgan Rielly and Frederik Gauthier on the goal at 11:31.
- Can the Coyotes not let 40+ shots get to Mike Smith? - Arizona got 80% of the way there, allowing 32 shots against. But Smith was hung out to dry on a couple of Toronto’s goals by the defense.
- Can the Coyotes play a full 60 minutes? - The Coyotes hung around reasonably well through 40 minutes, but fell apart in the final period.
- Can Shane Doan keep up and get his 400th goal? - The lone bright spot in this game for the Coyotes, Doan’s 400th was a great team effort and a special moment for the Captain playing in his 1,500th game for the franchise that drafted.
Players of the Game
Toronto - Leo Komarov - Komarov lit the lamp twice for the Maple Leafs, and his second goal of the night proved to be a back-breaker for Arizona.
Arizona - Shane Doan - Apart from scoring #400, Doan had three shots and played almost four minutes of power play time.
- For more on the Maple Leafs, check out Pension Plan Puppets
- Jakob Chychrun and Ryan White were both injury scratches for the Coyotes.
- Arizona went with seven defensemen as Kevin Connauton played his first game since December 3rd; he took two shots in 11:15.
- Shane Doan - playing in his 1,500th game with the Coyotes - took the opening faceoff against Arizona hockey product Auston Matthews. Doan won the draw.
- Matthews’ first period assist brought him into a tie with Mitch Marner for the Toronto points lead.
- Peter Holland has three assists and six games with the Coyotes
- Doan’s goal was his first since December 3rd against the Columbus Blue Jackets.
Arizona is off for the Christmas break until Tuesday night, when they welcome the Dallas Stars to Gila River Arena. Puck drop is at 7 PM Arizona time.