The Arizona Coyotes looked to be on track to get their first win of the season. A 3-2 lead after 40 minutes, a promising start to the third, and it seemed that the Coyotes could breathe a bit easier.
And then everything fell apart. Blake Coleman hit Oliver Ekman-Larsson into the boards and he was slow to get up. Christian Fischer retaliated and got called for a penalty in a tie game. The New Jersey Devils converted the subsequent power-play and held on to send the Coyotes to 0-10-1 after a 4-3 contest.
1-0 Coyotes - Fischer (3): The Coyotes drew first blood off a quick strike on the power-play. Jason Demers brought the puck in on the rush before making a drop pass to Christian Fischer. Fischer found a cross-ice seam and got the puck to Christian Dvorak, whose shot came off the pad of Cory Schneider right to Fischer, who deposited the puck into the open net at 10:37 in the first.
1-1 - Gibbons (5): Errant pass on a power-play from Clayton Keller leads to a Brian Gibbons breakaway. Oliver Ekman-Larsson was left with no choice but to commit a penalty, which led to a penalty shot that Brian Gibbons converted past Louis Domingue to tie the game at the 11:55 mark.
2-1 Devils - Hall (2): Kevin Connauton sent an errant pass behind the net that was intercepted by Jesper Bratt, who got the puck to Taylor Hall out at the front of the net for the goal at 11:09 in the second.
2-2 - Perlini (1): 48 seconds after the Hall goal, the Coyotes answered with a quick strike of their own. Perlini received a pass from Alex Goligoski before firing the puck past defenseman Dalton Prout and netminder Schneider to tie the game at 2.
3-2 Coyotes - Keller (8): While the Devils were attempting to exit their own zone, Keller picked the pocket of fellow rookie Nico Hischier before charging the net and shooting the puck past Schneider to give the Coyotes the lead again at the 15:13 mark.
3-3 - Hall (3): After a Max Domi interference penalty sent the Devils to their first power-play of the night, Adam Henrique won the faceoff on the power-play. Eventually, Hall scored his second of the game 11 seconds into the advantage to tie it at the 4:30 mark.
4-3 Devils - Bratt (4): After the hit from Coleman that knocked Ekman-Larsson out of the game, Fischer was called for a penalty in retaliation. The Devils struck again quickly, taking only 21 seconds to convert on a shot by Jesper Bratt after a crisp cross-ice feed from Will Butcher 15:47 into the third.
We had some questions pregame, and were they answered?
Will Raanta be back?
Starting with the easiest questions first, Antti Raanta did not return for this game. The Coyotes also acquired goaltender Scott Wedgewood from the Devils for a 2018 5th round pick before the game.
Is the Duke back?
Anthony Duclair started this road-trip with goals in back-to-back games, but he was mostly quiet tonight. When the Coyotes shuffled the lines, Duclair got moved down to the line with Mario Kempe and Zac Rinaldo. Duclair finished with no points or shots in 13:13 of ice time.
Can they get a save?
Domingue had a great save in this game, robbing Drew Stafford of a goal in the second period moments before Keller gave the Coyotes a lead. However, it wasn’t enough: Domingue had 21 saves on 25 shots, and in a game where the Coyotes skaters were better than those of their opposition, the goaltending let them down again.
Players of the Game:
Arizona Coyotes - Clayton Keller
It’s a broken record at this point, but Keller was again the team’s best player. The rookie had a goal and five shots in 20:41 of ice time, tops among all forwards and fourth on the team (behind Goligoski, Ekman-Larsson, and Niklas Hjalmarsson). In dark times, Keller has consistently provided the team with hope, and his eight goals put him in a tie for third in the NHL.
New Jersey Devils - Jesper Bratt
Though Bratt is not the first name to come to mind when talking about Devils rookies, Bratt had an enormous game, scoring the game-winning goal and tallying three points total. He was a key part on the Devils’ penalty-kill, with a couple of nice 2-on-1 opportunities before contributing to each of the non-penalty shot goals for the Devils. Bratt now has 10 points on the season, putting him third in the NHL in rookie scoring with Mikhail Sergachev.
1st Star - Jesper Bratt
2nd Star - Taylor Hall
3rd Star - Brian Gibbons
No complaints about the three stars. Maybe there is a case for Keller, but Bratt, Hall, and Gibbons were the three most impactful Devils in this game.
- Check out our friends at All About the Jersey for their take on tonight’s game.
- Both Keller and Christian Dvorak extended their point streaks: Keller to five games (five goals, three assists) and Dvorak to three (three assists).
The five-game road trip continues on Monday, October 30th with a 4:00 p.m. puck-drop against the Philadelphia Flyers. The game will be broadcast on Fox Sports AZ and can be heard on radio at KTAR.