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Coyotes Game 21 Recap: Coyotes routed by Avalanche, lose 6-2

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A terrible third period doomed the Coyotes as they dropped their second straight game to the Avalanche.

Colorado Avalanche v Arizona Coyotes Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Recap

For most of tonight’s game, it looked like the Arizona Coyotes were in it. They weren’t great, but they were keeping up. But then it all fell apart in the third.

Arizona started well enough. They had few good looks and started off outshooting the Avalanche. It was night and day compared to yesterday’s start, and for a while, it looked like the Coyotes would be okay.

Colorado drew first blood during the middle of the first. Colorado came into the Coyotes zone with feed, and Niklas Hjalmarsson fell on the ice giving the Avalanche a numbers advantage. Nathan MacKinnon fired a quick shot, and it was 1-0 Colorado.

Arizona would take the first penalty of the game with less than two minutes left in the first. Colorado would start the second period on the power play and got a lot of momentum from it.

The Coyotes were able to kill the penalty, but it gave Colorado all the momentum. Four minutes into the second and the Avalanche had already registered an additional ten shots on goal.

Arizona would get their chance on the power play when Pierre-Edouard Bellemare was called for hooking. The resulting power play was terrible, with the Coyotes barely able to gain the zone or get a shot on goal.

But 29 seconds after the penalty expired, Colorado took another penalty. It was a much better effort, and the Coyotes had a lot of really good looks. Arizona hit the post, and it looked like they had a chance of tying the game.

The Yotes could have built off that. But less than two minutes later, sloppiness resulted in another too many men on the ice penalty.

Luckily, the penalty kill was the Coyotes’ best kill of the night, with Christian Fischer and Lawson Crouse having great look short-handed. But most importantly, Colorado was held off the scoresheet.

Arizona would finally get their first goal of the game late in the first. The Coyotes forced Colorado to turnover the puck, and after Niklas Hjarmlasson shot it from the point, Clayton Keller redirected it over Philipp Grubauer and into the net.

The game was tied and started to get interesting. Both teams had some good offensive pressure as the second period came to a close.

But before it ended, Colorado had one more move. The Coyotes had been unable to clear the zone, and Jacob MacDonald took the puck down low. He went behind the net and was able to put the wraparound home between Antti Raanta’s legs. The tie was short-lived, and Colorado had retaken the lead.

Things completely fell apart in the third period.

Arizona took an early penalty when Oliver Ekman-Larsson tripped J.T. Compher. Colorado won the faceoff, fired the puck at Raanta, and knocked home the rebound, scoring six seconds into their power play.

And from there, Colorado really took over. Midway through the period, after Oliver Ekman-Larsson failed to keep the zone, the Avalanche came in on a 3-on-2. OEL and Ilya Lyubushkin take two of the Avalanche players, but that left Joonas Donskoi all alone. He shot the puck, and suddenly it was 4-1.

Less than two minutes later, the Avalanche increased their lead again. Mikko Rantanen came in with speed and took two Coyotes players with him down low. That left a streaking Tyson Jost mostly alone and with a partial screen letting him fire the puck past Raanta.

The Coyotes weren’t completely out of it though. Four goals is a lot to make up, but they kept playing. In one of the rare instances where they had sustained offensive zone pressure, Johan Larsson fired the puck towards the net, only for the puck to be redirected past Grubauer. At first, it looked like Lyubushkin was going to get the goal, but it was ultimately credited to Larsson, giving him his second of the season.

Arizona would, of course, pull Raanta to attempt a late comeback. But with two minutes left, Pierre-Edouard Bellemare collected the puck in the Colorado zone and fired it into the empty net. And if it hadn’t already been over, it was definitely over at that point.

Lines

Stray Thoughts

  • Before the game, it was announced that Conor Garland had a lower-body injury and would not be playing. Cale Makar also didn't skate tonight.
  • During the first period, the Coyotes outshot the Avalanche 9-7. In the second and third periods, the Avalanche outshot the Coyotes 20-6 and 14-10 respectively.
  • Arizona managed only one shot on goal during two power plays.
  • Jakob Chychrun was a big reason why the second power play looked much better than the first. He was really engaged and had a few good shot attempts.
  • Tonight was probably Christian Fischer's best game of the season. He looked good 5-on-5 and on the penalty kill.
  • Arizona has had four too many men on the ice calls in the past five games. That is a major problem and needs to be addressed right away.

Three Stars

  1. Joonas Donskoi - Game-winning goal and an assist.
  2. Mikko Rantanen - Two primary assists
  3. Ilya Lyubushkin - Had a goal, but it was taken away. Only Coyotes' defensemen to not be a minus tonight.

Next Game

The Coyotes are going to be heading on the road and Wednesday will be playing the Los Angeles Kings at 8:00 pm Arizona time.