It was a tough loss to suffer, especially given how close the game was at the halfway point. But as we have seen far too many times, one poorly timed goal sunk the Coyotes.
The scoring opened up early, with James van Riemsdyk getting on the scoresheet just over a minute in. Kyle Capobianco turned the puck over, allowing van Riemsdyk to pick up the puck and bring it in on a 2-on-1 before putting it home.
But the Coyotes were quickly able to gain the equalizer. Less than a minute later, Antoine Roussel centered the puck from the goal line to a waiting Jay Beagle, who fired it home.
The Coyotes had all the momentum after tying it up, so they took a penalty two minutes later in true Coyotes fashion. Arizona killed the penalty, and despite the Coyotes getting a power play of their own at the end of the period, the first ended with the score tied 1-1.
But as we have seen so many times this season, the second period would prove pivotal.
Philadelphia took an early lead with Scott Laughton getting his sixth of the season. Travis Konecny was going hard to the net, and though he couldn’t fire off a shot, he got the puck to Laughton, who fired it home.
But the Coyotes weren’t dead yet, and just over five minutes later, they tied it up.
The goal was initially credited to Ilya Lybushkin, who crashed the net and made sure the puck went in the back of the net. Upon further review, Nick Schmaltz would get credit for his initial shot going in, giving Schmaltz his first of the season.
Unfortunately, this is where things started to go downhill. Karel Vejmelka had come out to play the puck and attempted a very difficult cross-ice pass. Unfortunately, he didn’t have as much control as he thought, and the puck went straight to the stick of Patrick Brown, who popped it into the empty net.
It was a tough goal to give up, but after being bailed out by the goaltender, the Coyotes should be able to cover for an error or two.
Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case. Less than 30 seconds later, Loui Eriksson took a high sticking penalty, and van Riemsdyk scored his second on the resulting power play.
Arizona would get a chance to cut the Flyer’s lead a few minutes later with their own power play when van Riemsdyk put the puck over the glass, but the Coyotes power play failed to register a shot. Unfortunately, things would go from bad to worse when Dysin Mayo was called for cross-checking at the end of the second period, meaning the Coyotes would start the third down a man.
The Flyers would extend their lead just under eight minutes in, with Claude Giroux getting his tenth of the season.
Arizona’s last gasp of life came midway through the third period with a goal from Lawson Crouse. Crouse was posted at the faceoff circle, in a perfect position for a Nick Schmaltz pass.
*AOL voice*— Arizona Coyotes (@ArizonaCoyotes) December 12, 2021
You’ve got ̶m̶a̶i̶l̶ a goal. pic.twitter.com/Qjl8vILH6d
But the Coyotes couldn’t complete the comeback, and neither team scored the rest of the game.
It’s hard to overstate how important special teams were. The Flyer’s game-winning goal was scored on the power play and the fact that it came just over a minute after their last goal was huge. If the Coyotes had killed that penalty or cut the Flyer’s lead in half on their own power play, this could have been a different game. But instead, the Coyotes went into the third period needing to kill another penalty and down 4-2. Arizona had two power play chances and only registered a single shot, which needs to change.
Jazz Cup Lines
- James van Riemsdyk - 2 goals
- Nick Schmaltz - Goal and an assist
- Travis Konecny - 2 assists
The Coyotes will stay at home and have a few days off to rest before facing the New York Rangers on Wednesday at 7:00 pm Arizona time.