The Arizona Coyotes defeated all three Eastern Canadian teams after taking down the Toronto Maple Leafs in a special teams contest. After defeating both of Toronto’s rivals, the Montreal Canadiens and the Ottawa Senators, the Coyotes were ready to take on the center of the hockey universe.
The Coyotes just ran through Eastern Canada and swept the Habs, Sens, and Leafs— Dimitri Filipovic (@DimFilipovic) November 21, 2017
Arizona is now the center of the hockey universe sorry rules are rules
Unlike in previous games it was the Coyotes power play that made the difference on the scoreboard going 2 for 4 on the evening. The Leafs are headlined by young talent like Auston Matthews (apparently he’s from Arizona, who knew? ;D), Mitch Marner and William Nylander, but their offensive firepower wasn’t enough to outscore the Coyotes tonight.
1-0 Arizona: After Connor Carrick goes to the box for interfering with Clayton Keller the Coyotes’ power play is able to sustain pressure in the Leafs’ offensive zone. Keller feeds the puck to Derek Stepan who threads it through the crease to an open Brendan Perlini. Frederik Andersen was expecting a shot from his screen Christian Fischer, and was completely caught off guard by Perlini’s top shelf shot.
1-1 Tie: Kevin Connauton takes a terrible holding penalty in the final 8 seconds of the first period to give the Maple Leafs a power play to open the second. Marner takes a shot, Nazem Kadri deflects it, Antti Raanta stops it, but James van Riemsdyk is able to capitalize on the rebound and ties it for the Leafs.
2-1 Arizona: Another penalty drawn by Keller, this time Ron Hainsey was the perpetrator. Christian Dvorak wins the faceoff against Zach Hyman, and Max Domi passes the puck to Keller who passes it to Oliver Ekman-Larsson. OEL uses that vicious wrister to snipe it past Andersen who was being screened by Dvorak. It was a textbook play that was well executed.
Coach’s Challenge: Matthews skates the puck around the back of the net and shoots it in glove side on Raanta. Unfortunately for Matthews his linemate, Hyman, had interfered with the goalie and he didn’t have enough time to recover. The goal was overturned and the Coyotes maintained their lead.
3-1 Arizona: The Triple D line Domi, Dvorak and Anthony Duclair connect to get Domi an empty net goal after the Leafs pulled Andersen. Duclair chases the puck in to the offensive zone but wasn’t able to get it on net putting it just behind the goal line. Dvorak flips it up to Domi who is able to get his first goal since the season opener.
4-1 Arizona: In the final minute of the game Brad Richardson flips the puck out of the Coyotes’ zone, Tobias Rieder out-skates Jake Gardiner to chase it down and poke it in the empty net.
Will Raanta shine against the Leafs?
Absolutely! He saved 27 of 28 shots and was able to withstand almost an unending barrage of shots in the final minutes of the game.
If Hjalmarsson returns, will he be what the Coyotes have been needing?
Dave Vest summed up Hjalmarsson’s night the best:
.@ArizonaCoyotes d-man @hammarenfyra played 19:41, notched assist, took 2 SOGs & blocked 3 shots in 1st game since 10/30. He took headfirst tumble into boards, but kept playing. "He got his neck banged up," Rick Tocchet said. "We were a little nervous about it, but he was fine."— Dave Vest (@davest4yotes) November 21, 2017
Can Keller find his scoring touch again?
Keller regained his title as leader of the rookie scoring race with two assists. Perhaps even more importantly, he was the player that drew the two penalties that led to the goals where he assisted.
Players of the Game
Arizona - Max Domi - Domi not only got his second goal of the season he also assisted on the Ekman-Larsson goal and had the most shots on goal at 4 for all of the Coyotes’ players.
Toronto - James van Riemsdyk - The good New Jersey boy had the only goal for the Leafs and tied for most shots on goal at 5 with Morgan Rielly.
Third Star: ARI - Clayton Keller (2A)
Second Star: ARI - Oliver Ekman-Larsson (GWG)
First Star: ARI - Antti Raanta (27 Saves)
- For more on the Toronto Maple Leafs, head on over to Pension Plan Puppets.
- Healthy scratches for the Coyotes tonight included Joel Hanley and Mario Kempe
- Niklas Hjalmarsson returned to the lineup from injury after missing 10 games, he last played October 30th against the Philadelphia Flyers.
- Oliver Ekman-Larsson scored the 42nd power play goal in his career extending his franchise record for most by a defenseman. OEL also scored his 26th game-winning goal the most among all NHL defensemen since his debut. Also he is not available on the trade market. SERIOUSLY HE’S NOT AVAILABLE!!!!
- Clayton Keller regained the lead over Matthew Barzal in the rookie scoring race.
- Tonight was the first time of the season that any Coyotes’ player scored an empty net goal, and two were scored, one each by Max Domi and Tobias Rieder.
The Coyotes are back home on Wednesday at Gila River Arena to take on the San Jose Sharks. The puck drops at 7 p.m. and the game can will be broadcast on TV at Fox Sports Arizona or by radio on ESPN 620 AM.