A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. Or a single point.
The Arizona Coyotes ended their pointless streak at eight games by forcing overtime against the Anaheim Ducks on Friday night at the Honda Center. Unfortunately, their winless streak extends to nine games on the back of one of the more bizarre plays in overtime you will ever see.
1-0 Anaheim - Peter Holland was not able to force Joe Cramarossa out of Mike Smith’s way. Corey Perry’s shot deflected off of Cramarossa and in for Anaheim’s first goal of the night. Assists to Perry and Josh Manson on the goal at 6:35.
1-1 Tie - Less than two minutes into the period, Tobias Rieder carried the puck into the offensive zone unchallenged by the defense. He found Anthony Duclair circling wide around the near-side, and Duclair threw the puck on net and off of Martin Hanzal to tie the game. Assists to Duclair and Rieder on the goal at 1:19.
2-1 Anaheim - Mike Smith made a tremendous save on Antoine Vermette up close, but on the ensuing faceoff, Chris Wagner managed to sneak the puck in between the post and a slight gap that Smith had led open. Assist to Logan Shaw on the goal at 16:05.
2-2 Tie - Arizona got a desparately needed power play goal thanks to a little puck luck. A shot by Jamie McGinn hopped over John Gibson’s pads, and on the ensuing scramble a pinching Oliver Ekman-Larsson was able to backhand the puck softly over the line before it disappeared under Ryan Kesler’s equipment. After a very quick review, the goal was concerned. Assists to McGinn and Anthony Duclair on the power play goal at 3:12.
3-2 Anaheim - This one ranks up there with #BUTTGOAL. Mike Smith made a dazzling save on Ondrej Kase up close, but then inexplicably decided to play the puck with his stick from his crease rather than freeze it. Kase eagerly took the puck away from him and tapped it over a sprawling Smith to win the game for the Ducks. Unassisted on the overtime goal at 4:24.
Mike Smith with a turnover of the year candidate in overtime pic.twitter.com/dOJW7HlUqA— Brady Trettenero (@BradyTrett) January 7, 2017
- Will the defense stabilize? - Apart from the first goal, which involved Peter Holland being unable to clear out the shooting lane, the Coyotes played respectably well on defense.
- Will the veterans start to help out again? - Tonight’s goals came from Martin Hanzal and Oliver Ekman-Larsson, with Jamie McGinn setting up OEL’s goal. The veterans made their presence felt.
- Can the Coyotes win? - They didn’t win, but they got a point. Gotta start somewhere right?
Players of the Game
Arizona - Anthony Duclair - Duclair had two assists on the night and banged a puck off the post in the first period. He had an excellent game even if he didn’t manage to score one himself.
Anaheim - Chris Wagner - Chris Wagner scored a goal and took six shots in 7:54 worth of ice time. Now that’s efficient.
- For more on the Anaheim Ducks, check out Anaheim Calling
- Jakob Chychrun drew back into the lineup after sitting out in favor of Kevin Connauton against Vancouver.
- Hanzal’s ninth goal on the season ties him with Radim Vrbata for the team goal-scoring lead.
- Jordan Martinook left the game in the second period after taking an apparent slew-foot from Corey Perry in the defensive zone. Martinook landed awkwardly on his shoulder. Perry was not penalized on the play.
- On an Anaheim power play shortly after the Martinook injury, Tobias Rieder had a shorthanded breakaway apparently foiled by a stick thrown at the puck. Despite being an automatic penalty shot by rule, the play was not called. See for yourself:
The play that everyone is talking about pic.twitter.com/S2vLGcjwNn— Arizona Coyotes (@ArizonaCoyotes) January 7, 2017
- With two assists, Anthony Duclair recorded his first multi-point night of the season.
- Jakob Chychrun left the game in the third period after colliding with Anaheim’s Nick Ritchie. Chychrun appeared to skate straight into Ritchie’s elbow while Ritchie was looking in the opposite direction.