The Arizona Coyotes may have learned the wrong lesson from Monday. Again they fell behind 3-0 and had to work their way back from a huge deficit. And though they may have won again, they can’t keep doing this.
Things started better than the last game, although it would have been hard to have a worse start. They had a few good looks, but they were having some difficulties clearing the zone.
Arizona getting the first power play helped. With Isac Lundestrom in the box for hooking, the Coyotes had an okay power play. The first unit had some good puck movement but not enough shots and the second had some zone entry issues.
The power play didn’t result in a goal, but it did give the team some momentum. Christian Fischer had a good chance on a wrap-around, and Oliver Ekman-Larsson had a great stretch pass to Clayton Keller, but the Coyotes weren’t able to find the net.
Anaheim had some chances of their own and was looking good. They were playing very aggressively, and it resulted in several Coyotes turnovers in the defensive zone. The Ducks’ gameplay was working well enough, and the Coyotes were having a lot of problems.
It paid off for them in the final minute of the game. Anaheim was able to keep the zone and forced a turnover. Jani Hakanpaa fired the puck towards the net, but it ended up hitting Max Comtois. Comtois was in front of Darcy Kuemper, and after the puck bounced off his chest, he was able to backhand it through his legs and past Kuemper.
A last-minute goal can be demoralizing, and the Coyotes had a weak start to the second. But the Yotes recovered eventually, and after a few shifts, they were playing well enough again. There were two scary moments when Phil Kessel and Conor Garland went down and had difficulties getting up, but the Coyotes looked to be putting things together.
But along with the inability to clear the zone, they developed issues in the faceoff circle.
Early in the second, Anaheim won an offensive zone faceoff got the puck to the point. Josh Mahura fired a puck through traffic past Kuempe, giving the Ducks a 2-0 lead.
The Coyotes’ response to this was to take a stupid penalty for too many men on the ice. Arizona killed the penalty, but Anaheim had control of the game.
Things went from bad to worse when the Coyotes took another penalty. Niklas Hjalmarsson was in the box for tripping, and the Ducks’ power play finally worked.
Anaheim was in the Coyotes’ zone when Max Comtois fired it on net. Jakob Chychrun ended up blocking the shot, but it popped right in front of Max Jones. Jones hit it home, and again the Ducks had a 3-0 lead.
The Coyotes had been here before, but this time seemed different. Even with a power play in the final minute of the game, things weren’t looking good.
Things went from bad to worse pretty quickly. Darcy Kuemper appeared to tweak something early into the period and went straight to the locker room, and Adin Hill took over the crease. He seems to be fine, but it was scary at the time.
But the Coyotes got a shot of energy just over halfway through the period. Derick Brassard won the faceoff and got the puck back to the point. Tyler Pitlick redirected Oliver Ekman-Larsson’s shot from the point, and the Coyotes were finally on the board.
And Arizona didn’t waste time getting their second a minute a 44 seconds later. Phil Kessel had the puck behind the net and passed it up to Jakob Chychrun. Chychrun’s shot from the circle bounced off Hakanpaa’s stick and past Ryan Miller.
Hey guys, can you please stop scoring before we have a chance to post the goal before? pic.twitter.com/BpY0BrmJ9I— Arizona Coyotes (@ArizonaCoyotes) February 25, 2021
The Coyotes still had a lot to do, but they had the momentum.
Some pushing and shoving after Hill made save led to some 4-on-4 hockey, but the Coyotes kept the pressure up.
They finally broke through with less than four minutes left in the period. Conor Garland went down low and brought everyone with him. That left Kessel all alone as he skated in and knocked the puck past Miller.
NHL Video Highlight - Phil Kessel scores against the Anaheim Ducks to make it 3-3. pic.twitter.com/7KHRHsmZfR— Coyotes Game Bot (@CoyotesGameBot) February 25, 2021
Neither team scored in the final 3:21 of regulation or overtime, which left the shootout.
Nick Schmaltz didn't get a good look on his attempt, but Trevor Zegras managed to score no problem.
Conor Garland gave the Coyotes their first shootout goal. He came in with speed, deked out Miller, and put the puck past Miller.
Hill stopped Comtois' shot, and it was Christian Dvorak's turn. Dvorak has his twist on the Radim Vrbata shootout technique. It's a beautiful thing to watch, and he is so good at it.
Dvo Vrbata— Arizona Coyotes (@ArizonaCoyotes) February 25, 2021
shooutout backhands pic.twitter.com/M2tLvERluW
Rickard Rakell missed the net, and the Coyotes skated off with two points.
Tonight's projected lineup: pic.twitter.com/znDM8H8B9Q— Arizona Coyotes (@ArizonaCoyotes) February 25, 2021
- The "Short Leash" line was reunited to start the game but eventually was broken up. Drake Caggiula went with Clayton Keller and Nick Schmaltz while Conor Garland skated with Phil Kessel and Derick Brassard.
- During the first period, a broken play resulted in the Ducks having a 3-on-1 with a stickless Hjalmarsson. Somehow the Ducks did not score.
Niklas Hjalmarsson went on quite an adventure here. pic.twitter.com/l9LqMVaHqx— Mark Lazerus (@MarkLazerus) February 25, 2021
- Tyler Pitlick had a few really good looks and it was nice to see him rewarded with a goal.
- Arizona definitely needs to work on their zone exits, it was a massive problem for most of the game.
- In their past three games, the Coyotes have taken a penalty for too many men on the ice.
- Hill made a few massive saves, but his biggest was probably this glove save in overtime.
- Phil Kessel - Game tying goal and an assist
- Oliver Ekman-Larsson - Two assists
- Adin Hill - 14 saves on 14 shots
The Coyotes play the Colorado Avalanche on Friday in the first game of a back-to-back.