Tonight’s game was decided in the first period, and the Coyotes actually had a golden opportunity to start the game. Arizona got an early power play when Aaron Ekblad was called for hooking, but they, unfortunately, couldn’t get anything done. They only had one shot during the power play and spent most of the man advantage collecting the puck.
The Panthers killed the Coyotes’ first power play and started to take over the game. And thanks to two goals ten seconds apart less than ten minutes into the game, they had the lead.
Arizona would get their second power play of the game late in the third, and they made it count this time.
The Coyotes had some good offensive zone time, and Travis Boyd picked up the puck by the goal line. Boyd passed it up to a wide-open Phil Kessel, who skated up to the faceoff dot and fired it past Sergei Bobrovsky.
It was a rare power play goal for the Coyotes, and it cut the Panther’s early lead in half.
Unfortunately for the Coyotes, the period wasn’t over just yet. With less than two minutes left, Nick Schmaltz was called for hooking, and the Panthers got their first power play of the night.
And with 25 seconds left in the first, Sam Reinhart brought it in and fired it past Scott Wedgewood, giving the Panthers the 3-1 lead.
That didn’t need to be the end of it. There was still another 40 minutes left to play, plenty of time for the Coyotes to score two and even things up.
But the Coyotes have struggled to score, and tonight was no exception. Neither team managed to score in the final 40 minutes.
The Coyotes had plenty of chances with the man advantage. They got an early power play in the second and one midway through the third. But unfortunately, they couldn’t do much with the man advantage.
It was a tightly called game, and the Coyotes also hurt their chances by repeatedly going to the box. The Coyotes took another three penalties, although one was cut short 16 seconds in when Clayton Keller drew a tripping minor to even things up.
The main problem for the Desert Dogs was their inability to get through the neutral zone. Florida played great, and Arizona was outplayed from start to finish. The Coyotes had some good looks in the dying minutes with an extra attacker, but Florida was the better team.
- Before the game started, the Coyotes honored Loui Eriksson for having played his 1,000th career NHL game.
- Jay Beagle and Nick Schmaltz both returned tonight.
- Schmaltz played on the wing and looked good. He was able to use his speed and had some excellent chances. It will be interesting to see how he slots in in the next couple of games.
- The Coyotes did well in the faceoff circle, including Jay Beagle, who won 82% of his faceoffs in his first game back.
- Sam Reinhart - Goal and an assist
- Phil Kessel - Goal
- Sergei Bobrovsky - 22 saves on 23 shots
The Coyotes don’t have time to dwell on tonight’s game as they will face the Philadelphia Flyers tomorrow at 7:00 pm.