The Arizona Coyotes returned home tonight to face the St. Louis Blues looking to turn things around after a bad road trip. But thanks to a collapse in the second period, they continued their losing streak, having dropped their third straight game.
Things seemed to be going well for the Desert Dogs to start the game. They drew first blood, with Clayton Keller getting his second of the season on the Coyotes’ first power play.
The St. Louis native loves playing St. Louis. pic.twitter.com/AstqxwK0hd— Arizona Coyotes (@ArizonaCoyotes) October 19, 2021
The team will be relying a lot on Keller this season, and two power play goals in three games is a good start for him.
Unfortunately, the Blues quickly evened the score a minute and a half later when Pavel Buchnevich got his first of the season.
Buchnevich wouldn’t get a chance to do any more damage to the Coyotes. Late in the first period, Buchnevich and Lawson Crouse were exchanging heated words on the ice when Buchnevich headbutted Crouse and was tossed from the game.
And we have another headbutt, Buchnevich is getting a match penalty and is done for the night pic.twitter.com/e7fcSdcm2D— NHL Review (@nhl_review) October 19, 2021
The Blues were assessed a five-minute major while Crouse was assessed a two-minute minor for cross-checking, leading to two minutes of 4-on-4 hockey to close out the first and start the second, and then a three-minute Coyotes’ power play.
Unfortunately, the Desert Dogs couldn’t do much on their power play, and it expired with the score tied at 1-1. Arizona’s power play has struggled to start the season, but you need to make the team like the Blues pay on a major penalty.
Not long after the power play expired, the Coyotes would manage to find the back of the net.
Lawson Crouse got his first of the season from Kessel in a nifty tic-tac-toe play.
It was Crouse’s first goal of the season and Kessel’s third assist. We will hopefully get a chance to see more of them throughout the season.
Unfortunately for the Coyotes, things quickly went downhill from there.
Midway through the second period, Andrew Ladd was sent to the box for tripping Jordan Kyou. During the resulting power play, the Blues tied the game with a goal from Justin Faulk.
And that would prove to be the opening of the floodgates. After Faulk, Jordan Kyrou and Klim Kostin would both score twice, giving the Blues a 6-2 lead over the Coyotes. After Kyrou’s second goal, the Coyotes would pull Carter Hutton, putting Karel Vejmelka in net for the reaming 3:43 of the second and the rest of the game.
Vejmelka definitely tightened things up for the Coyotes, and they didn’t allow any more damage in the second period. Arizona started the final period in a deep hole, but with a bit of confidence regained.
And early in the third, it looked like things may change for the Coyotes.
Christian Fischer got his first of the season from Clayton Keller, a goal that required Fischer to pick up his own rebound and send it past Binnington.
Nothin' Fishy about that one. pic.twitter.com/ZWyzM66viq— Arizona Coyotes (@ArizonaCoyotes) October 19, 2021
It wasn’t exactly a goalscorer’s goal, but it showed a determination and willingness to go to the front of the net that we will hopefully see more of this season.
And not too long after that, the Coyotes got ever closer, with Travis Boyd getting his first of the season.
Ilya Lybushkin fired the shot on net from all alone between the faceoff circles, only for Boyd to redirect the puck with his body and cut the deficit to two.
Unfortunately for the Coyotes, the comeback stopped there. Ivan Barshev scored for the Blues four minutes after Boyd’s goal, and that was it for the Coyotes’ comeback chances. Neither team scored for the remaining 7:35.
The game ended with pushing and shoving, and Jakob Chyrchrun getting called for interference and roughing against Jake Neighbors and being given a game misconduct. It was a brutal end to the home opener and just another game in the rebuilding season. There were a few bright spots, but the Coyotes will need to put everything together sooner or later.
- Shayne Gostisbehere - 3 assists
- Jordan Kyrou - 2 goals, 2 assists
- Klim Kostin - 2 goals
The Coyotes will be at Gila River Arena again Thursday as the face off against the Edmonton Oilers at 7:00 pm.