The Arizona Coyotes haven’t had the best luck this season. More often than not, the odds seem stacked against them.
But not tonight. The Coyotes went into tonight’s game with momentum after beating one of the best teams in the division, the Colorado Avalanche.
After so many games against teams better than them, they were finally playing against a team below them.
Arizona got things going early with a goal from Christian Dvorak. Dvorak has been quiet lately and had been held pointless for nine games.
Dvorak won the faceoff, and the Coyotes got to work in the offensive zone. They took the puck below the goal line, and Christian Fischer got the puck to Conor Garland. Garland passed the puck up to Dvorak, who was streaking in alone and sent the puck into a wide-open net.
Arizona kept up the pressure, and even though they weren’t playing the best, they were the better team.
The second period started with the Coyotes getting the first power play of the game. Not only did the Desert Dogs not score, but Tomáš Hertl scored short-handed and tied the game.
Both teams traded chances after that, and things seemed to be evening out. But Arizona kept up the pressure and was rewarded late in the period.
It was a pretty innocuous play. The Coyotes forced a turnover behind the net and passed it back to Oliver Ekman Larsson. OEL passed the puck to Ilya Lyubushkin, who fired it on net. Nick Schmaltz was crashing the net, and he redirected the puck past Martin Jones, and it was 2-1 Coyotes with less than a minute and a half left in the second.
The Coyotes found themselves in an unusual position to start the third. Arizona was playing well and ahead 2-1.
After killing a Jason Demers holding call, the Coyotes went back to work. A few minutes later, Christian Fischer cleared the zone, and the puck went back to the Sharks’ zone. Dvorak stole the puck and fired it home, and the Coyotes got that ever-elusive third goal.
That third goal gave the Desert Dogs all the confidence they needed to finish the game. Less than a minute and a half later, Dryden Hunt scored his second of the season after firing home a rebound.
The Sharks would challenge the goal, saying that Lawson Crouse interfered with Jones. After a brief review, the call on the ice stood, and the Coyotes had a 4-1 lead.
That challenge would prove to be a mistake for the Sharks. Halfway through the power play, Oliver Ekman-Larsson brought the puck in and passed it up to Clayton Keller. Keller passed it back to Phil Kessel, who was all alone, and he fired it past Jones and gave the Coyotes the 5-1 lead.
Just under a minute later, Nick Schmaltz would get called for boarding, and the Sharks would get their own power play, and score a goal, cutting the Coyotes’ lead to three.
But Arizona was playing too good to let the Sharks come back. That would be the last goal San Jose scored, and Arizona would win the game 5-2.
- Phil Kessel played in his 1,100th game. Of course, he had a goal to celebrate.
- Another lineup change-up, and it honestly seemed to work well. Granted the Sharks aren't exactly a benchmark team.
- Christian Dvorak briefly lead the team in goals scored, until Phil Kessel tied him up, The Coyotes now have three players who have reached double digits in goals scored.
- Christian Dvorak - 2 goals
- Oliver Ekman-Larsson - 2 assists
- Phil Kessel - 1 goal
The Coyotes play the Sharks again tomorrow at Gila River Arena at 7:00 pm Arizona time.