The Arizona Coyotes left their offense in 2016, which made the job of an already shaky defense even harder.
A first period turnover led to all the offense the Vancouver Canucks would need as Ryan Miller shutout the Coyotes 3-0 on Wednesday night at Rogers Arena in Vancouver. The loss was Arizona’s eight in a row.
1-0 Vancouver - Fresh from a conditioning stint in Tucson, Kevin Connauton committed a brutal turnover in his own end by clearing the puck directly into Sven Baertschi’s skates. He breezed past Connauton and scored in alone on Mike Smith to give the Canucks the lead for good. No assists on the goal at 9:51.
Arizona mustered all of two shots in the second period and weathered a late storm by the Canucks to go into the second intermission down just a goal.
2-0 Vancouver - Brandon Sutter drew a penalty shot when Luke Schenn hooked him to prevent a clean attempt on Mike Smith. Sutter ripped a page out of Radim Vrbata’s playbook and went forehand-backhand to extend Vancouver’s lead to two. No assists on the penalty shot goal at 6:53.
3-0 Vancouver - Bo Horvat added the icing on the cake by outskating Connor Murphy down the middle and deking Mike Smith out of the net. Assists to Alexandre Burrows and Christopher Tanev on the goal at 13:43.
- Who will fill the void on the back-end? - Jakob Chychrun sat, which meant both Michael Stone and Kevin Connauton drew in. That proved to be an unfortunate decision.
- Who will be the next youngster to score? - Turns out the answer was “none of the above”.
- Can the Coyotes stay focused? - Focus didn’t seem to be a large problem; the Coyotes only took two penalties in the entire game, and killed both power plays off. And the hooking penalty by Schenn that resulted in a penalty shot was the right play in that situation.
Players of the Game
Arizona - Brendan Perlini - Perlini led the team in shots with three in 15:18. He had an excellent chance on a late power play that Ryan Miller had to commit larceny to stop.
Vancouver - Alexandre Burrows - Burrows had the primary assist on Horvat’s third period goal and finished with a +5 Corsi rating at even-strength. All around solid team effort from the Canucks.
- For more on the Vancouver Canucks, check out Nucks Misconduct.
- Jakob Chychrun was the lone Coyotes’ healthy scratch with Anthony DeAngelo’s suspension and Alexander Burmistrov’s visa issues.
- Reid Boucher was claimed off waivers by the Canucks earlier in the day, but did not dress tonight.
- All Coyotes skaters played at least eleven minutes, with Kevin Connauton playing the fewest at 11:47, followed by Connor Murphy at 11:50.
- Despite Arizona’s offensive struggles, this was the first time the Coyotes were shutout since December 12th against Pittsburgh.
Arizona wraps up its brief two-game road trip on Friday when they play the Ducks in Anaheim. Puck drop is at 8 PM Arizona time.