Thursday was always going to be a difficult matchup for the Arizona Coyotes. After seven straight games against the St. Louis Blues, they had to switch gears and play the Los Angeles Kings. Things did not turn out well.
Los Angeles outworked and outplayed the Coyotes through most of the games. The Coyotes had a few stretches in the second and in overtime where they looked okay, but it was the Kings in control of the game.
Arizona managed to find success against the Blues when they took control of the game. And you can see the Coyotes attempt that on Thursday, but with little success. Los Angeles plays a different style, and the Coyotes need to change things up if they want to find success tonight.
The Coyotes had difficulties in almost all areas of the game. They couldn’t clear the puck in the defensive zone, had trouble in the neutral zone, and barely set up in the offensive zone. It wasn’t all that surprising when regulation ended with the Coyotes outshot 28-18.
That’s not to say everything was terrible and that they need to burn the footage. There are plenty of things that the Coyotes can build off of today.
Arizona’s penalty kill prevented the Kings from scoring on their three power play opportunities. Unfortunately, LA’s penalty kill was just as good, and the Coyotes were unsuccessful in their three attempts.
And the Coyotes did manage to come alive in the second period. After being down 2-0, the Desert Dogs bounced back with Conor Garland and Phil Kessel scoring.
The “Short Leash” Line has been great since their formation, but the team needs more than them. Arizona could really use Kessel and others to take some of the pressure off and give the Desert Dogs more offense.
Those two goals were enough to tie the game and force overtime and eventually the shootout.
The Coyotes looked better to start overtime, but there was no guarantee they would have won if OT continued.
One of the big reasons the Coyotes fell to the Blues in overtime last Saturday was because Clayton Keller got caught on the ice too long. We started to see that same thing happen on Thursday. Towards the end of overtime, we saw more and more instances of tired players. Arizona should avoid overtime anyway, but if it is going to happen they need to be better.
And most importantly, the Coyotes walked away with a point. There isn’t much to celebrate in a shootout loss, but it is better than a regulation loss.
With a tight West Division and a condescended schedule, the Coyotes need every point that they can get. They walked away with one point in a game where they shouldn’t have gotten any, but not showing up two games in a row would be a big mistake for the Yotes.
Players to Watch
Arizona: Conor Garland - The Coyotes have stacked their top line, making it very important that they continue to have success. A big part of that is Conor Garland, who had a goal in the Coyotes' last game and leads the team with 15 points and is tied with Christian Dvorak with 7 goals.
Los Angeles: Anze Kopitar - Kopitar has been the Kings' top center for a long time and at 33 he is still going strong. He had an assist in the last game and is riding a six-game point streak.
Arizona: Drake Caggiula (lower body)
Los Angeles: Jaret Anderson-Dolan (undisclosed), Andreas Athanasiou (COVID protocol), Martin Frk (lower body), Sean Walker (nose)
Today's game is at 5 pm at Gila River Arena and will air on Fox Sports Arizona Plus and on Fox Sports 910 AM.