Two wins in a row. Sure feels good to be winning games again.
Arizona’s offense exploded in the first period, piling on 4 goals in a row in a 10 minute segment of dominance against Winnipeg and chasing Jets’ goaltender Connor Hellebuyck from the game.
1-0 Winnipeg - After being hailed with shots in the first minutes of play, the Coyotes go down early. Jacob Trouba took a shot from the point which deflected strangely off the leg of Toby Enstrom. From there, the puck landed perfectly on the end of Shawn Matthias’s stick who was able to put the puck home easily as Mike Smith was caught off guard by the deflection. Assists to Enstrom and Trouba at 3:43.
1-1 Tie - After an excellent breakout from their own zone courtesy of Shane Doan and Oliver Ekman-Larsson, the Coyotes responded almost immediately through Brendan Perlini who sped past the Jets’ defense before ripping the puck in to tie up the game. Assists to Ekman-Larsson and Doan at 4:49.
2-1 Arizona - On another rush the Coyotes executed some cross ice passing before throwing the puck toward the net. There, the puck landed perfectly on the end of Peter Holland’s stick where he tapped the puck home through Connor Hellebuyck’s five-hole for his first goal as a Coyote. Assists to Ekman-Larsson and Radim Vrbata at 8:26.
3-1 Arizona - With the puck about the clear the zone, Winnipeg left Jamie McGinn all alone in front of the goals. However, Luke Schenn had other ideas as he kept the puck onside and threw it toward the net. McGinn saw the puck coming and tipped it in past Hellebuyck who was pulled and replaced by Michael Hutchinson after giving up 3 goals from 5 shots. Assists to Schenn and Vrbata at 10:41.
4-1 Arizona - After being fed the puck by Vrbata, Perlini again drove hard to the net and shot. The fresh Hutchinson was able to make the save but still gave up a rebound which fell right back to Perlini. From an incredibly tight angle Perlini was able to roof the puck for a power play goal and his second goal of the night. Assists to Vrbata and Ekman-Larsson at 14:45.
No scoring in the second period as the Jets out-shot the Yotes 13 to 8. The second half of the period certainly felt dominated by Winnipeg as several icing calls were made against the desperate Arizona squad who managed to hold on to their 4-1 lead.
4-2 Arizona - A Mark Stuart shot from the point deflects off Christian Dvorak’s stick and through Mike Smith’s five-hole. Assist to Paul Postma at 2:46.
4-3 Arizona - With an empty net for an extra attacker, the Jets score courtesy of Blake Wheeler. Left alone in front of the goals, Wheeler was able to redirect a shot from the point in past Mike Smith. Assists to Nikolaj Ehlers and Mathieu Perreault at 18:30.
- Can the defense keep the game close? - Yes. While the Coyotes gave up 3 goals by the end of the night, the first 2 goals scored by the Jets were messy and arguably unlucky for Arizona with each coming off strange deflections. Take those away and it’s a 4-1 game, pretty strong by the Yotes’ defense.
- Can the offense do...anything? - Yes and no. Arizona’s offense caught everyone by surprise in the first period, playing passes off the rush instead of dumping the puck. They scored 4 goals like this. But after the first period was over, Arizona returned to their concerning offensive play. Hopefully we will see more plays like in the first period in the future.
- Can the Coyotes get a solid game in net? - As mentioned earlier, 2 of the 3 goals against Arizona were arguably unlucky and not directly anyone’s fault. Mike Smith had a solid game in net finishing with a .919 save % and didn’t make any awful plays with the puck like we have seen recently... We’re also looking at you Louis Domingue!
Players of the Game
Winnipeg - Blake Wheeler - Finished the night with the Jets’ best goal of the night and finished with 6 shots on goal.
Arizona - Brendan Perlini - Scored two goals in the first period and played well all night. Everybody wanted him to get a hat-trick but it eluded him, however he can’t be far off from recording his first if he keeps scoring goals as he has recently.
- For more on the Winnipeg Jets, check out Arctic Ice Hockey.
- Scratched for the Coyotes tonight was Kevin Connauton, Jordan Martinook and the recently acquired Alex Burmistrov.
- Oliver Ekman-Larsson and Radim Vrbata both finished the night with 3 assists and 3 points each.
- The Coyotes have now registered 5 points from their last 3 games.
- Tonight’s game was Brendan Perlini’s first multi-goal and multi-point NHL game.
- Peter Holland also had a notably strong game, recording his first goal as an Arizona Coyote while also winning 60% of face-offs and taking 3 shots on goal.
- Attendance: 12,326
Arizona will play again immediately tomorrow night before hitting up a 3-game road trip. They host the Anaheim Ducks on Saturday night with puck drop at 6:00pm Arizona time.