Going into tonight’s game the Coyotes were 0-2-1 against the Ducks, being outscored 11 goals to 3. New year, new Coyotes.
In similar fashion to their rebound after losing to the Edmonton Oilers, the Arizona Coyotes again rebounded from their recent loss to the San Jose Sharks by defeating the Anaheim Ducks 3 goals to 2.
After scoring all 3 of their goals in the first period, Arizona’s offensive flair disappeared for the remainder of the game as they let the Ducks have their way with the puck.
But even after Mike Smith left the game with an undisclosed issue, being replaced by debutant Marek Langhamer, the Coyotes dug deep and held on for the win.
1-0 Arizona - A turnover deep in Arizona’s defensive zone leads to a quick rush the other way for the Coyotes, with Christian Dvorak and Shane Doan entering their offensive zone two on one against Cam Fowler. Doan slips the puck under Fowler’s stick to Dvorak who is now behind the Ducks’ defender. Now one on one with the goaltender, Dvorak dangles before scoring five-hole on Jonathan Bernier. Assists to Doan and Brendan Perlini at 2:02.
2-0 Arizona - Another rush, another goal. Ryan White enters the zone with the puck and catches Jakob Chychrun streaking down the far side jumping in on the play. Chychrun out paces his man, Ryan Getzlaf, and receives a smooth wide pass from White before scoring a one-timer into a wide open net as Bernier couldn’t go from left to right in the net fast enough. Assists to White and Tobias Rieder at 4:46.
3-0 Arizona - With Radim Vrbata trying to pass to Martin Hanzal as he crashes the net, the puck is intercepted by Sami Vatanen’s foot and redirected into the net. The call on the ice was no goal as the referees believed it was kicked in by Hanzal, but after review it was determined to have come off Vatanen and the goal was awarded to Vrbata. Assists to Max Domi and Luke Schenn at 14:50.
3-1 Arizona - With Mike Smith being screened by Martin Hanzal and Ryan Getzlaf, a Josh Manson shot from the top of the circle finds its way through traffic to the back of the net. Assists to Nick Ritchie and Ondrej Kase at 12:26.
3-2 Arizona - With the empty net and an extra man, Ryan Getzlaf strikes again. Using time and space, he lines up a perfect slap shot from the top of the circle which gets past Marek Langhamer who is being screened by Ryan Kesler. The goal was challenged for offside prior to the play but after review it remained a good goal. Assists to Sami Vatanen and Cam Fowler at 19:33.
1. Will the Coyotes rebound? Just as they did after their recent loss to the Edmonton Oilers, Arizona rebounded from their disappoint loss to the San Jose Sharks with a big win over the Anaheim Ducks.
2. Can the Coyotes score? Arizona took advantage of an undercooked Jonathan Bernier in the first period, scoring 3 times before chasing Bernier from the game in favor of John Gibson. Gibson was perfect for the rest of the game, but the damage had already been done as the Coyotes kept the Ducks to only 2 goals for the remainder of the game.
3. Will the Ducks find their own offense? The difficulties for the Ducks’ offense continued as they only just managed to score 2 goals against the Coyotes, including one goal with an extra man and an empty net against a rookie goaltender making his NHL debut.
Players of the Game
Anaheim - Ryan Getzlaf - The Ducks’ captain led by example tonight, scoring both of Anaheim’s goals and finishing the night with 5 shots on goal.
Arizona - Christian Dvorak - Dvo remains hot with another goal tonight. He also finished with a hit, a block and finished the night as the best Coyote at the face-off dot with a 50% win rate.
- For more on the Anaheim Ducks, check out Anaheim Calling.
- Prior to tonight’s game, Michael Stone was traded to the Calgary Flames for draft picks.
- Marek Langhamer served as Mike Smith’s backup for the third straight game as Louis Domginue remains scratched and day to day with a lower body injury.
- Peter Holland was the only other scratch for Arizona tonight as Lawson Crouse was moved to the injured reserve during the weekend. Crouse is recovering from a lower body injury sustained against the Pittsburgh Penguins.
- Today was Martin Hanzal’s 30th birthday. Happy birthday!
- With Stone moved, Connor Murphy started the night on the 2nd pairing alongside Alex Goligoski, while Kevin Connauton and Jakob Chychrun played together for the first time as the 3rd defensive pairing.
- Tonight was the 2nd Annual Women’s Hockey Appreciation Night as the Coyotes recognized and celebrate all the ladies in AZ who play the great sport of hockey.
- After finishing a shift short with 5:17 left in the first period, Oliver Ekman-Larsson went down to the locker room and did not return for the remainder of the period. He was back on the ice at the start of the second period.
- Arizona managed to score 3 times off only 6 shots in the first period.
- During the first intermission, Anaheim swapped goaltenders from Jonathan Bernier to John Gibson. Bernier finished the night with a .500 save percentage, saving 3 of 6 shots he faced. Gibson finished the game making 14 saves on 14 shots for a perfect save percentage.
- With 15:31 left in the third period, Marek Langhamer made his NHL debut, replacing Mike Smith who went off the ice and into the locker room immediately. Smith finished his night with a .964 save percentage, saving 27 of 28 shots he faced.
- Meanwhile Langhamer finished his NHL debut with a .857 save percentage, saving 6 of the 7 shots he faced - including a game saver on Sami Vatanen with only a second or so left on the clock:
Not a bad way to end your @NHL debut. pic.twitter.com/MXG5ouE4wc— #Yotes (@ArizonaCoyotes) February 21, 2017
- Attendance: 14,554.
Arizona back on the road again, traveling to Chicago to visit Blackhawks. Puck drop is at 6:30pm Arizona time and can be viewed on NBCSN or tuned into on AZ Sports 98.7 FM.