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Coyotes Game 43 Recap: Coyotes fail to complete comeback, fall 4-2

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The Coyotes have now lost their past four games.

Arizona Coyotes v Colorado Avalanche Photo by Michael Martin/NHLI via Getty Images

Game Recap

Well, at least the Arizona Coyotes don’t have to play the Colorado Avalanche again for the rest of the regular season.

It wasn’t the worst game they’ve played, and the Coyotes played better than they did in either game against the Vegas Golden Knights. But it wasn’t good enough, and Colorado walked away with the 4-2 win.

Arizona started well enough, and they were getting some decent offensive zone time. The Coyotes were driving hard to the net, but Philipp Grubauer was playing at the top of his game.

It looked like the Coyotes would get lucky early on in a weird delay. The Coyotes had crashed the net, and while it didn’t look like the puck crossed the net. Even on replay, it didn’t look like anything, but the referees have access to more angles and must have seen something because they gave the Coyotes goal.

Colorado would immediately challenge the goal for goaltender interference. Further review came back with the decision that Johan Larsson pushed Grubauer into the net, and the goal was called off.

Unfortunately for the Coyotes, Colorado would score soon after with a goal that counted. Colorado won the faceoff, and an all-alone Brandon Saad back-handed the puck past Ivan Prosvetov, giving Colorado the 1-0 lead.

The Coyotes were doing a decent job at limiting Colorado chances, but they couldn’t get much going. And things went from bad to worse in the second period.

Arizona had a few good looks, with Christian Dvorak having a shot at a wide-open net and Oliver Ekman-Larsson getting a great shot from the middle of the ice. But Grubauer was standing on his head, and the Avalanche were better at finished.

The second period would finish with the Coyotes outshooting the Avalanche 23-15 but the Avalanche having a 3-0 lead with Nathan MacKinnon and Mikko Rantanen scoring in the second.

But the Coyotes would finally get something going midway through the third period. The Coyotes were on the power play when Ekman-Larsson fired it on net. Michael Bunting deflected the puck into the back of the net.

Arizona seemed to come alive after that goal. After getting shut out last game, they seemed to relax a bit after breaking the seal.

And so it didn’t come as a surprise when Johan Larsson cut the Avalanche’s lead to one. Dryden Hunt kept the zone, and Larsson recovered the puck, brought it in with speed, and fired it on net.

And at that point, it looked like a different game. Arizona still needed one more, but they had come back before.

Unfortunately, not this time. With Prosvetov on the bench, Mikko Rantanen fired the puck from the defensive zone into the empty net, sealing the Coyotes’ fate.

Tonight’s game was always going to be an uphill battle for the Coyotes. The Avalanche are one of the best teams in the league, and limiting them to 20 shots is impressive.

But as the season comes to an end, the Coyotes can’t afford to keep winning moral victories. They are behind the Blues, and they need to steal points.

Lines

Stray Thoughts

  • Niklas Hjalmarsson returned tonight after missing the previous ten games. He played 16:14, including 4:48 short-handed.
  • Derick Brassard was a healthy scratch for tonight.
  • This was Ivan Prosvetov's first NHL start. The Coyotes didn't let the Avalanche generate much offense, but Prosvetov was good in his limited action.
  • Clayton Keller had a few after the whistle shoving matches. One came in the first after Christian Fischer was pushed for a bit too many wacks on Grubauer, the other came as the game was expiring when Oliver Ekman-Larsson took a cross-check.
  • Michael Bunting has six goals in eight games. He is probably going to come down from his 33.3 shooting percentage.
  • This happened:

Next Game

The Coyotes are scheduled to play the Minnesota Wild in Minnesota on Wednesday at 6:00 pm Arizona time.