The streak is over. It took 12 games, four goalies and multiple blown leads for it to happen, but the Arizona Coyotes are finally in the win column! Much like everything this season, it didn’t come easy and this game followed a similar script to most of the season. Arizona started strong (again), coasted to a 3-0 lead, gave one back in the third and then capped it off by giving up two goals in the final 90 seconds while the Philadelphia Flyers had an extra attacker. The opening lines of “The Sound of Silence” began to play in the fanbase’s heads, as this looked like yet another heartbreaking finish. This time the song had a different ending, though. Thanks to Alex Goligoski, Max Domi and Clayton Keller, who combined to score the game-winning goal in overtime and give Arizona their first win of the season.
Yes, this team is still 1-10-1 and has only three points in the standings, but finally getting that first win is huge. Fans could sense that the losses piling up and the blown leads were starting to get in the player’s heads, so maybe getting the first one out of the way can help them get on some sort of run and get things somewhat back on track.
1-0 Coyotes (Martinook): Arizona was able to go to work on the rush after forcing a turnover at their own blue line and they quickly struck with Jordan Martinook finding Brad Richardson on the right wing for an early chance. This was stopped by goaltender Brian Elliott, but the rebound was kicked out into the left side of the faceoff circle and collected by Niklas Hjalmarsson. The Arizona defenseman made a one-touch pass to Martinook, who was all alone at the front of the net and beat a sprawling Elliott for the game’s first goal.
2-0 Coyotes (Dvorak): The Coyotes second line had a good forecheck going and cycled the puck back to the point for a simple low-to-high play. The initial shot from Oliver Ekman-Larsson didn’t make it on goal, but Christian Dvorak quickly put home the rebound. It was a quick play, Elliott couldn’t react to it, as there was a lot of traffic in front of the net and the initial shot seemed to fool him.
3-0 Coyotes (Perlini): Brendan Perlini scored his second goal of the season on an early power play in the third period. It was a pretty simple passing play with Hjalmarsson and Ekman-Larsson playing catch from an umbrella setup. Perlini finished it off with a wrist shot from the right face-off circle that beat a screened Elliott.
3-1 (Couturier): The Flyers got a power play of their own after Richardson was called for a hooking penalty and they made short work of it with Sean Couturier burying a one-timer from Claude Giroux. A short pass from the left wall meant Scott Wedgewood had no chance.
3-2 (Weal): Flyers won a faceoff and got to work with an extra attacker, putting relentless pressure on the Coyotes. They created a couple of chances and eventually capitalized after Jordan Weal pounced on a rebound off the initial point shot by Ivan Provorov. Wedgewood was still reacting to the first shot and couldn’t make the recovery save in time, as Weal was left alone at the side of the net.
3-3 (Couturier): Flyers got their second goal with an extra-attacker after the Coyotes failed to clear the zone twice, the final one being gloved down at the line by Prorvorov and quickly sent down the left wing to Giroux, who then sent the puck to the slot and the pass was deflected in by Couturier to tie the game with 15 seconds left. This came after multiple instances of the Coyotes clearing only to the red line but failing to keep the puck deep or get a line change.
4-3 (Goligoski): Keller started a rush for the Coyotes after forcing an offensive zone turnover by Travis Sanheim. He quickly sent the puck the other way to Goligoski, starting an odd-man rush for Arizona after Keller joined the play. These two and Domi connected on a perfect passing play in the middle of the slot. The final pass was put home by Goligoski at the side of the goal to give Arizona their first win of the season.
There were no pre-game questions for this game, so let’s just enjoy the win.
Players of the Game:
Arizona Coyotes - Alex Goligoski
There were a few candidates, but it’s hard to give it to anyone else. He sealed the victory in overtime and played a solid game all-around. He also pitched in with a primary assist on Perlini’s power play goal. Goligoski’s had a tough start to the season from a boxcar numbers standpoint, but he’s been the only one on the blue line willing to jump into the play and this is the type of game the Coyotes need from him. That said, also give a shoutout to Keller for kick-starting the overtime goal.
Philadelphia Coyotes – Ivan Provorov
This was a tough choice between him and , but Provorov’s fingerprints were all over each of the Flyers three goals. It was also his keep-in at the line that made Couturier’s goal happen, so he definitely earned the secondary assist on that one. Provorov is the Flyers best defenseman and with the injury to Shayne Gostisbehere, he’s going to be depended on even more for offense and he did just that.
Media Three Stars
First Star: Alex Goligoski
Second Star: Sean Couturier
Third Star: Oliver Ekman-Larsson
Check out Broad Street Hockey for the Flyers side of this game
- The other storyline for the Coyotes was their new goalie, Scott Wedgewood, who was only acquired this past Saturday. For most of this game, he was very solid. Arizona made his job pretty easy, limiting the Flyers chances for the first 50 minutes and giving him a clean look at almost every shot. He did a nice job of making those saves and didn’t allow too many rebounds, aside the one that Jordan Weal scored on. It’s been a game of musical chairs in the Coyotes’ crease this year and the team is desperate for any sense of stability there. Wedgewood’s performance in this game gave them some hope for that.
- Not to get nit-picky after a rare win, but this game felt eerily similar to most of the Coyotes losses this year. They could not have played better for the first 50-some minutes on this game. The Flyers were not sharp at all, but you have to give Arizona credit for playing strong defense and frustrating them. They didn’t allow many chances and their defensive zone play looked miles better than it did in any point over the first 11 games.
- Now, onto the six-on-five sequence. Arizona hasn’t exactly had much practice defending a lead in the last minute and it showed in a bad way here. The first one was mostly due to the Flyers winning a faceoff, making some good passes and causing confusion in front of the goal. It showed when Luke Schenn lost Weal in front of the net to cover the Flyers defenseman that pinched in to go after the rebound. The Couturier goal, on the other hand, was less excusable. Arizona had a minimum of two chances to clear the puck out of the zone and they couldn’t do it. This isn’t counting the times they actually cleared the puck but couldn’t get it deep. If they do that, this game doesn’t go to OT. The win is nice, but they made it a lot more difficult than it needed to be.
- Richardson’s line deserves some love tonight, as they had a great shift that led to the first goal of the game and were fantastic all night long on the forecheck. He, Martinook and Christian Fischer kept the Flyers pinned in their zone for most of the game and did everything you could ask from a checking line. Arizona doesn’t have the depth of the Flyers, so the third line having a game like this goes a long way.
- Ekman-Larsson and Jason Demers, once again, led the team in 5v5 shot differential.
- Niklas Hjalmarsson left the game early in the third period with an upper-body injury and did not return. No other news on that has been made available.
The Coyotes will try to build off this win tomorrow, as they travel to Detroit to take on the Red Wings. Puck drop will be at 4:00 Arizona time.