It’s taken a while, but at last we can write these words:
The Arizona Coyotes are back in the win column.
Louis Domingue turned in a stellar performance and the Coyotes did just enough to outlast the New York Islanders in a 2-1 shootout victory on Saturday night at Gila River Arena. The victory ended a nine game winless streak.
For two teams who had played the night before, the sense of urgency to start the game strong didn’t really seem to be there. There was no scoring in the first as Arizona led in shots 10-4 heading into the intermission.
1-0 New York - Perhaps Dave Tippett should issue a moratorium on goaltenders playing the puck. Louis Domingue went behind the net to sweep the puck away but ended up sending it right up the middle of the ice. Johnny Boychuk intercepted the clearing attempt, and fired a shot that Alan Quine deflected into the net. Assist to Boychuk on the goal at 15:35.
1-1 Tie - Arizona snatched a stalemate from the jaws of defeat as Peter Holland cycled the puck below the New York net late in the third. He found Connor Murphy at the near-side point, whose wrist shot was tipped by Brendan Perlini in the faceoff circle and past Thomas Greiss, who expected the shot to continue rising and thus was not covering the bottom of the net. Assists to Murphy and Holland on the goal at 14:05.
A late Josh Jooris penalty in the overtime failed to yield a winner, and the Coyotes prevailed in the shootout thanks to fantastic moves by Anthony Duclair and Radim Vrbata. Cal Clutterbuck and Andrew Ladd were both unsuccessful for the Islanders.
- Can Arizona score first? - Once again, the Coyotes couldn’t get the first one, but not for lack of trying. Thomas Greiss was excellent in the early-goings. Still, Arizona is going to need to find more ways to break through, because relying on your goaltenders to surrender one goal or fewer per game is not a recipe for success.
- Will Arizona keep another sheet clean? - Arizona took four penalties, including a 31 second five-on-three, and managed to kill all of them off. Special teams have put together two solid efforts in a row.
- Can the Coyotes get a solid game in net? - For a while, Louis Domingue looked like he would simultaneously be Arizona’s best player and the reason they lost the game. But the Coyotes pulled it out, and rewarded their young netminder for otherwise great play.
Players of the Game
New York - Thomas Greiss - While this game featured just two goals in regulation, it really seemed like it could have been a track meet without Greiss in net. He made some truly amazing saves while scrambling around his own net, and finished the night 26 for 27.
Arizona - Louis Domingue - Domingue was one brain fart away from a shutout. He stopped 27 of 28 shots for the Coyotes, and was excellent in key stretches.
- For more on the New York Islanders, check out Lighthouse Hockey
- Martin Hanzal and Jordan Martinook were unable to play in tonight’s game, though Hanzal would make an appearance during the pregame ceremony commemorating Shane Doan’s 1,500th game and 400th career goals.
- Jakob Chychrun returned to play after leaving against Anaheim late in the third period due to an inadvertant elbow to the face by Nick Ritchie.
- Kevin Connauton dressed tonight not as a 7th defenseman, but as a fourth line right winger alongside Laurent Dauphin and Brendan Perlini. He played 7:06, took one shot, and finished the night with a 50% Corsi rating (six shot attempts for, six shot attempts against)
- Connor Murphy has eight assists on the season after tonight’s game. Six have come against teams in the Eastern Conference, and three have come against teams from New York.
- Travis Hamonic left midway through the second period with an apparent leg injury, however he was able to return to action later in the period.
While ending a long losing streak is great at any point, this win comes at a most opportune time for the Coyotes, as they are off until Friday due to a team-selected bye week in the schedule. Puck drop against the Winnipeg Jets is at 7 PM on Friday the 13th.