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Arizona shoot themselves in the foot, hand win to Pittsburgh

Rick Tocchet’s homecoming not enough to get Coyotes over the line against Penguins

NHL: Arizona Coyotes at Pittsburgh Penguins Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

The keys to the game going in tonight were ‘play disciplined’ and ‘start fast.’ The Arizona Coyotes did neither of these things and ultimately lost the hockey game to the Pittsburgh Penguins 3-1.

After giving up two very early even strength goals, the Coyotes managed to settle the pace and go toe-to-toe with the reigning champions. However, penalty after penalty plagued Arizona and shut down any momentum as soon as they started to built it.

While extremely brave on the penalty kill, only allowing one Penguin goal with the extra man advantage, giving up six penalties to a team with Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin and Phil Kessel, just to name a few, is going to be a bad time.

Scoring Summary

First Period

1-0 Pittsburgh: In his return from injury, Justin Schultz takes an extreme angle shot along the goal line which Antti Raanta read as a pass. It wasn’t a pass and bounces into the back of the net off Raanta’s pads as he slides away from the puck to cover the man on the other side of the post.

2-0 Pittsburgh: Phil Kessel shoots from the right wing which Raanta saves but the rebound spills out in front of him to Evgeni Malkin who bats it home out of mid-air on his backhand.

Second Period

No scores in the second, largely due to the great play of Raanta.

Third Period

2-1 Pittsburgh: Christian Fischer executes a stretch pass across the neutral zone to a streaking Tobias Rieder. Rieder ends up going in all alone against Matt Murray and beats him high.

3-1 Pittsburgh: Kessel bats the puck in out of mid-air as it was falling into the back of the net behind Raanta from a deflection off Patric Hornqvist.

Three Answers

Can the kids hang with the Champs?

In the first 5 minutes of the game - no.

For the rest of the match, yes. Arizona wasn’t ready to start tonight and it cost them the game, but after settling down the young Coyotes held pretty even against the team they’re trying to model themselves after.

Clayton Keller. Will he score again?

Unfortunately not. But the real question isn’t will he score again, it is WHEN will he score again?

Will the defense stop pinching in bad places?

There were some close calls for Oliver Ekman-Larsson getting caught out of position again tonight, but each time he recovered and made a defensive play. It seems as if this was an issue that might have been addressed recently as outside Alex Goligoski there wasn’t a whole lot of offence generated by Arizona’s defence tonight.

Players of the Game

Arizona - Antti Raanta - Outside the blunder of a goal that he gave up to open the match, Raanta individually kept the Coyotes in the game for long stretches of Penguin offence. Great penalty killing starts with your goaltender and Raanta certainly did his share to keeping Pittsburgh to 1 goal off of 6 power play opportunities.

Pittsburgh - Phil ‘the Thrill’ Kessel - “Nice guy, tries hard, loves the game.”

Three Stars

Third Star: PIT - J. Schultz (1G)

Second Star: PIT - P. Kessel (1G, 2A)

First Star: PIT - E. Malkin (1G, 2A)

Paw Prints

  • For more on the Pittsburgh Penguins check out Pensburgh.
  • Healthy scratches for the Coyotes tonight included Anthony Duclair (scratched for 5 out of the last 6 Coyotes’ games), Joel Hanley and Mike Sislo.
  • Hanley and Sislo are both yet to make their Arizona debuts, however they have 59 NHL games worth of experience and are aged 26 and 29 respectively.
  • Post-game, Head Coach Rick Tocchet will collect his third Stanley Cup ring won when he was with the Penguins last season. He has two other Stanley Cup rings, one also won when he was an assistant coach and another won when he was playing for the Penguins back in 1992.
  • Tonight was Antti Raanta’s 100th NHL game.

Looking Ahead

The Coyotes head to Missouri to face the St. Louis Blues on Thursday November 9th which will be broadcast at 6 p.m. MST on Fox Sports Arizona.