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Killer Ds find rhythm in Arizona Coyotes’ 5-3 victory over Tampa Bay Lightning

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The youngsters put it together for a nice road win.

NHL: Arizona Coyotes at Tampa Bay Lightning Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Anthony Duclair and Max Domi were known as the Killer Ds last season as two of the more potent rookies on the Arizona Coyotes. Turns out, they were saving a space for Christian Dvorak to flourish as well.

Domi, Dvorak, and Duclair combined for five points as the Coyotes raced to a 5-3 victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning on Tuesday night. Tampa Bay Lightnin

Scoring Summary

First Period

1-0 Arizona - Christian Fischer, ever the economic type, scored his third goal in four career NHL games thanks to Lawson Crouse. Crouse challenged Tampa goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy behind the net and forced him to cough up the puck. All Crouse had to do was flip it in front of the net ahead of Fischer, who was already breaking in behind defenseman Jake Dotchin for the easy tap-in. Assists to Crouse and Josh Jooris on the goal at 4:56.

1-1 Tie - On a four-on-four, an overly aggressive Arizona forecheck turned into a Victor Hedman breakaway attempt the other direction. Hedman gained a step on Alex Goligoski and went five hold on Louis Domingue to even the score. Assist to Nikita Kucherov on the goal at 9:45.

Second Period

2-1 Arizona - Christian Dvorak finished what Max Domi started on a tight breakout through the middle of the Tampa zone. Both players had a slight edge on the last Tampa defenseman, but it was Dvorak who had the inside track, and so it was Dvorak who got the tap-in goal. Assists to Domi and Connor Murphy on the goal at 10:06.

2-2 Tie - Tampa Bay responded almost immediately on a beautiful tic-tac-toe play that ended with a sharp angle shot off the stick of Nikita Kucherov on the far end of the Coyotes’ zone. Assist to Ondrej Palat on the goal at 11:50.

3-2 Tampa - The Lightning grabbed their first lead of the night late in the second period as Jonathan Drouin’s slick puck-handling skills drew three Coyotes to him. Vladimir Namestnikov was able to sneak in behind the distracted defenders and deflect Drouin’s pass up and over Louis Domingue. Assist to Drouin on the goal at 18:08.

Third Period

3-3 Tie - Oliver Ekman-Larsson benefited from a broken play as Max Domi’s shot deflected off of Jonathan Drouin. The puck floated perfectly to Ekman-Larsson in open space, and he promptly uncorked a wrist shot through traffic to tie the game. Assists to Domi and Anthony Duclair on the goal at 4:54.

4-3 Arizona - Radim Vrbata potted what stands as the game winner during four-on-four action. Victor Hedman attempted to pass responsibility for covering Vrbata off to Vladimir Namestnikov, but Namestnikov was slow to react. Vrbata used that soft spot on the ice to one-time a puck over Andrei Vasilevskiy to give the Coyotes the lead. Assists to Alex Goligoski and Oliver Ekman-Larsson on the goal at 6:39.

5-3 Arizona - Connor Murphy would officially get credit for the empty net goal, but his simple dump-in bounced off of Victor Hedman’s outstretched attempt to catch the puck and rolled into the net before Hedman could get there. No assists on the shorthanded empty-net goal at 18:24.

Three Answers

1. Can the Coyotes start scoring again? - Arizona got opportunistic goals and they got well crafted goals. All-in-all, they got five goals. A good night’s work.

2. Will Z play again? - Zbynek Michalek did not dress tonight, which is understandable given the back-to-back situation for the Coyotes.

3. Can the Yotes match Tampa Bay’s desperation? - Arizona looked faster and hungrier than Tampa Bay for much of tonight’s game. A high-flying team with nothing to lose is dangerous, and the Coyotes are that kind of team right now.

Players of the Game

Arizona - Oliver Ekman-Larsson - Ekman Larsson had a goal and an assist tonight. Despite a frustrating season for the Swedish defenseman, the year appears to be ending on an uplifting note.

Tampa - Nikita Kucherov - Kucherov had a goal and an assist on the night for the Lightning. He is tied for third in the NHL in goals with 34, alongside Vladimir Tarasenko.

Paw Prints

  • For more on the Tampa Bay Lightning, check out Raw Charge.
  • After playing last night, Zbynek Michalek took a seat tonight in favor of Anthony DeAngelo, who played 13:35 against the team that drafted him.
  • Tyler Johnson was a no go for the Lightning. He has not played since March 9th, and could very possibly be shut down for the remainder of the season.
  • Tonight was the first time Arizona scored more than four goals in a game since March 11th against the New Jersey Devils.
  • Anthony Duclair has recorded points in consecutive games for the first time since December 27th and 29th.
  • Despite giving Tampa Bay four power plays, the Coyotes were able to keep them from scoring while up a man.

Looking Ahead

Arizona will stay in South Florida for another couple of days, as they play the Florida Panthers on Thursday night. Puck drop is at 4:30 PM Arizona time.