It would be easy to think that the last place team in the league played this game poorly and deserved to lose. It would also be very, very wrong. The Arizona Coyotes was the better team in this game but they ran in to a brick wall named Sergei Bobrovsky. The current Vezina Trophy winner stopped all but one of the Coyotes’ 39 shots on goal.
In fact this game was largely all about the goalies as Antti Raanta also had a stellar game. He stopped 25 of the Columbus Blue Jackets’ 27 shots on goal and the two goals he let in would have been difficult for anyone to stop.
No goals in the first period but the Coyotes beat the Blue Jackets in shots on goal 10 to eight.
Still no goals in the second period. Both teams started the third down a man as Oliver Ekman-Larsson and Artemi Panarin received roughing minors for getting in a shoving and aggressive hugging match toward the end of the period.
It's getting testy out there. Still scoreless late in the second. pic.twitter.com/mMUtDsrkTB— FOX Sports Arizona (@FOXSPORTSAZ) January 26, 2018
1-0 Blue Jackets: (Wennberg) After Niklas Hjalmarsson joins Ekman-Larsson in the box for tripping Josh Anderson. Seth Jones fires a slap shot from the point and Alexander Wennberg tips it past Antti Raanta.
1-1 Tie: (Perlini) Josh Anderson takes an interference penalty against Richard Panik. The Coyotes power play cycles the puck well and have traffic in front when Derek Stepan fires it on the net and a scramble ensues. Brendan Perlini picks up the rebound and buries it past Sergei Bobrovsky.
2-1 Blue Jackets: (Atkinson) Christian Dvorak is attempting to clear the puck from the Coyotes’ zone but gets tied up by Jones. Wennberg grabs the loose puck and quickly gets it to Cam Atkinson who is wide open at the net. He buries the cross-ice pass.
Can the ‘Yotes finish in regulation?
Yes but it wasn’t the desired result.
Will Raanta’s solid play continue?
Raanta was stellar in this game again and only minor mistakes by the team cost them the game.
Which unlikely player will get a goal tonight?
Perlini was the only Coyotes’ goal scorer in this game and since he has goals in the last four games it would be inaccurate to call him unlikely to net one,
Players of the Game
Arizona-Antti Raanta kept the team in the game for two periods and was great all night.
Columbus-Sergei Bobrovsky showed once again why he was deserving of the Vezina Trophy.
- For more on the Columbus Blue Jackets check out The Cannon.
- The Coyotes will enter the 50th game of their season with a season-long five-game point streak, and have earned points in seven of their past eight games.
- Antti Raanta now has a .933 save percentage since January 1 and ranks 14th in the league with a .919 save percentage for goalies who have played 20 or more games.
- Center Brad Richardson and Defender Jason Demers each suffered an upper body injury and did not complete the game.
- Brendan Perlini played his 100th game in the NHL, and has scored a goal in his last 4 games. Also:
In his 100th game, B. Perlini has passed P. Mueller (27 goals) for most goals in the 1st 100 games of a player's career in #Coyotes history.— Jeffrey Sanders (@JeSanders11) January 26, 2018
Most of the Coyotes will have the next 5 days off but Oliver Ekman-Larsson will be participating in the All-Star Weekend in Tampa Bay, Florida. The Skills Competition can be viewed on NBCSN on Saturday, January 27 at 5:30 p.m. Arizona time. The All-Star Game can be viewed on Sunday, January 28 on NBC at 1:30 p.m. Arizona time.
The next game after the break is Thursday, February 1 against the Dallas Stars. The puck drops at 7 p.m. at Gila River Arena. It can be viewed on Fox Sports Arizona and the radio broadcast of ‘Heeter and Biz’ can be heard on ESPN 620 AM.