The Arizona Coyotes dropped their third straight game tonight, falling 3-1 to the Dallas Stars. And just like the Coyotes’ recent 7-1 loss to the Vegas Golden Knights, tonight’s game felt like a step back.
Arizona set the pace early when Travis Boyd was called for tripping just over three minutes into the game. The Coyotes were able to kill that one, and the next one midway through the first when Kyle Capobianco was off for tripping. They even got lucky when the referees missed a high-sticking call on the first faceoff of the Capobianco penalty, sparring them a two-minute 5-on-3.
But while the Coyotes picked up momentum after their first successful penalty kill, they weren’t so lucky the second time. Not long after killing the second penalty, Arizona was forced to ice the puck, bringing the faceoff back into the defensive zone. Dallas won the faceoff, and Roope Hintz was able to get some open ice in front of Scott Wedgewood and give the Stars the 1-0 lead.
The Coyotes seemed to push back after giving up the first goal, and the period expired with both teams appearing on a pretty even playing field. Dallas had the lead, but it was still anyone’s game.
And to their credit, the Coyotes had a solid second period. So often, it is Coyotes’ weakest period, but they keep their noses to the grindstone and played hard.
Scoring early definitely helped them build momentum, with Shayne Gostisbehere getting his fourth of the season from Clayton Keller and Phil Kessel.
Oh my, Ghost! pic.twitter.com/bMvLmlnulk— Arizona Coyotes (@ArizonaCoyotes) December 7, 2021
Ghost made a nifty pass through Jason Robertson’s legs up to himself and fired it home to tie the game up. It was a great play, keeping the Coyotes in the game.
Unfortunately, because this is the Coyotes, they took a penalty not long after tying the game. The Coyotes successfully killed the penalty in another solid PK, but giving one of the best power plays multiple opportunities with the man advantage is not a good strategy.
Arizona got their first and only power play midway through the period, but Arizona couldn’t get much done with it. They failed to register a shot on goal with the power play and didn’t do much to test Braden Holtby.
The final period began with the score tied at 1-1. The Coyotes have historically played well in the third period, so they just needed to keep that up.
Unfortunately, Dallas came out to play and had control over the second period. Dallas came close to retaking the lead when they appeared to score in the first half of the period, only for the referees to almost immediately overturn the goal after ruling that Jacob Peterson kicked the puck into the net.
Peterson clearly kicked the puck in, but he got a legitimate goal not long after. He found space in front of the net and fired home an Alexander Radulov pass, scoring the eventual game-winning goal.
At first, it looked like the Coyotes responded well to the goal. They finally got some offensive zone time, and Loui Eriksson hit the post in his 1,000th career game. But, unfortunately, King Loui would take a late tripping call, giving the Stars their fourth power play of the game.
Like we have seen so many times this season, if the Coyotes keep giving their opponents power plays, they will eventually score. Dallas has one of the top five NHL power plays, so it should come as no surprise that they finally scored with Jamie Benn getting his sixth of the season.
If a late power play goal to make it 3-1 didn’t finish off the Coyotes, Benn scored his second of the night less than two minutes later, making the game 4-1.
It was a tough loss for the Coyotes, especially after a rare solid second period. Arizona gave up too many Grade-A chances. They also took way too many penalties, and even though the penalty kill was solid, it finally broke in the final seconds of their final penalty kill.
Hockey soon. pic.twitter.com/yFRT6gMf3u— Arizona Coyotes (@ArizonaCoyotes) December 7, 2021
- Jamie Benn - 2 goals and an assist
- Shayne Gostisbehere - 1 goal
- Alexander Radulov - 2 assists
The Coyotes have a few days off and will face the Florida Panthers this Friday at 7:00 pm Arizona time at home.