The night after their first win of the season, the Arizona Coyotes were not able to earn their first winning streak of the season, falling to the Detroit Red Wings, 5-3. As has been standard, there's a lot to like, but little mistakes keep compounding. Detroit really ruled from start to finish, but Arizona kept it interesting late. It seems like Arizona finds a new piece of the puzzle each and every night, but cannot seem to put it all in one place. It's a welcome end to a miserable road trip.
1-0 Detroit (Nyquist): Wings take the lead 1:29 in to the period. Red Wings win an offensive zone faceoff, and it's Gustav Nyquist who finds it. He takes a shot in the high slot, with some streaking traffic in front. It finds its way to twine.
2-0 Detroit (Glendening): About a minute later, shoddy transition play by the Coyotes gives the Red Wings a chance. Martin Frk drops a pass for Luke Glendening, uncontested with a seam. Shot beats Scott Wedgewood.
Outside of those two relatively soft goals, Wedgewood was solid in the first. The highlight might have been an awesome glove save at 10:10.
Overall, Detroit dominated the period. It felt as if Detroit was playing on a smaller rink; contesting every puck played by a Coyote. The Red Wings seemed to know exactly what to expect schematically, and played to perfection.
Arizona came out much better in the second period, generating consistent pressure for the first 4 minutes.
2-1 Detroit (Demers): Clayton Keller had a chance, with Alex Goligoski finding him with a seam, but Jimmy Howard was able to turn it away. But it was the start of a sustained zone pressure, which eventually led to a Jason Demers slapshot from the point finding its way past Howard. Christian Fischer also assisting.
3-1 Detroit (Mantha): But as has been the Coyotes MO, they found a way to cough up a goal shortly after potting one themselves. Wedgewood left the crease to play the puck, but ended up giving it away. Coyotes regained possession, but Dylan Larkin didn't give up on the play and stripped an oblivious Oliver Ekman-Larsson. A tic-tac-toe of Larkin, Andreas Anthanasiou and Anthony Mantha (his 5th of the year) restored Detroit's two goal lead.
4-1 Detroit (Larkin): To add salt to the wound, Detroit would add a fourth goal. A Larkin cross-ice pass hit Luke Schenn's stick, grazing Wedgewood's left shoulder before going in. It muddies what was a much better period from Arizona.
Third period started strong. Arizona gets a great three-on-one look with Adam Clendening the trailer, but the slapshot goes wide.
4-2 Detroit (Cousins): Arizona scores at the 18:00 mark. Mario Kempe drives it low, before losing it, but it hits the stick of Nick Cousins , who recovers, and sends the rebound back through traffic. It slips past a screening Brendan Perlini, score is 4-2 Detroit.
Some madness that luckily doesn't result in a Detroit goal: Frans Nielsen gets a breakaway look, but Fischer is able to break up the play without a penalty. In the ensuing zone presence, Darren Helm ties up Clendening, and the two fall into Wedgewood. But Detroit can't get a shot off.
4-3 Detroit (Keller): Perlini would once again prove key to a goal, but not show up in the box score. He was the screen man, and appeared to get his stick on the Keller wrister from the low point. While initially marked as Perlini’s tip, scorers later ruled it a Keller goal. Coyotes down one with 3 minutes to go makes it interesting.
5-3 Detroit (Helm): However, no dice on the comeback. Darren Helm gets the empty netter to ice the game with 1:22 left.
Who controlled the pace? The first period was all Detroit, and it wasn't particularly close. Arizona kept things even in the other two periods, maybe even slightly outplayed Detroit. It’s no coincidence the early deficit lead to Arizona pressing in the later periods and allowed the Red Wings to play "downhill."
Can the Richardson line keep it up? Fischer had an amazing individual effort, but the line as a whole didn't have the same type of game they've made a habit in recent weeks.
Who steps up on defense? The OEL-Demers pairing was abused on the Mantha goal, although Wedgewood playing the puck also contributed. Of the remaining defensemen, Clendening appeared to have the best game. He was active in the offense, and made very few misplays in his own zone. Schenn deserves a mention for particularly poor play in this one.
Players of the Game
Arizona Coyotes - Brendan Perlini
Keller continues to impress, and is getting into "every night MVP" territory. But the player who made the biggest plays when they counted most was Perlini. He didn't generate offense with his lethal wrister, but instead with screens. It appeared he had deflections on both third period goals, but the scorers decided otherwise. Three solid showings for #11 in as many games.
Detroit Red Wings - Dylan Larkin
The Mantha-Larkin-Athanasiou line drove play throughout the game, with Larkin at the center of it all. His takeaway started the exchange that ended in Mantha's goal, and he scored one of his own to make it 4-1, which ended up being the difference.
Media's Three Stars
1. DET Dylan Larkin (1G, 1A)
2. DET Anthony Mantha (1G)
3. DET Mike Green (Team-high 23:00 TOI, 2 blocked shots)
- For more on the Detroit Red Wings, check out Winging It In Motown.
- Scott Wedgewood did his job. His 35 saves are the 3rd most by a Coyotes goaltender this year (1st: Antti Raanta's 41 against Vegas, 2nd: Louis Domingue's 36 against Anaheim).
- Not a lot of special teams action in this one; Arizona was 0/2 on the power play, and killed the only Detroit extra man advantage. All three came in the first period.
- Oliver Ekman-Larsson led the game in TOI with 24:35.
- Anthony Mantha's 2nd period goal is the 13th time the Coyotes have allowed a goal within two minutes of scoring one themselves.
- No Niklas Hjalmarsson, who was out with an upper body injury. Anthony Duclair was a healthy scratch.
The Road Ahead
Arizona gets a day of travel and rest, before playing host the Buffalo Sabres. Puck drop is 7 p.m. Arizona time at Gila River Arena on Thursday night.