At any other point in the season, the Arizona Coyotes getting three out of four points against the Vegas Golden Knights would have been considered a win. But, with the St. Louis Blues getting a point last night in an overtime loss, it feels like it isn’t going to be enough.
Unlike Friday, the Coyotes did not have a good start to the game. Vegas looked like a completely different team to start the game, and the Coyotes didn’t have much to counter them.
Vegas took the first penalty of the game 2:02 into the first period when Reilly Smith was caught hooking Nick Schmaltz. The Coyotes failed to register a single shot on goal during the power play, and like we have seen so many times this season, Vegas had all the momentum after a successful kill.
The Golden Knights continued to control the pace of the game until they got their own power play. Arizona was able to kill the penalty, but Vegas kept the zone and kept up the pressure.
Jonathan Marchessault had the puck below the goal line and threw it towards the front of the net. The puck deflected off William Karlsson, who was crashing the net, past Darcy Kuemper, and it was 1-0 Vegas.
The first period ended with the Coyotes down 1-0 and outshot 16-3. It was the complete opposite of Friday’s game, and it wasn’t looking good.
Arizona got another early power play in the second, this time coming just 42 seconds into the game. It was a better-looking power play than the one in the first, but still, it wasn’t good enough for them to tie it up.
And not long after another Vegas kill, things went from bad to worse. Vegas had a 2-on-1 with Max Pacioretty and Mark Stone heading towards the net. Stone picked up the pass and fired a wrist shot past Kuemper, giving Vegas the 2-0 lead.
The Coyotes would start to look better in the second and finished the period with some energy. Fortunately, Arizona hadn’t dug themselves as big a hole as they did against the San Jose Sharks.
Arizona cut the Golden Knights’ lead in half midway through the third period. The Coyotes had sustained pressure in the offensive zone, and Christian Fischer was able to find the puck and some open ice. He fired the shot on net, past Marc-André Fleury, and suddenly it was a different game.
FISCHER BRINGS IT WITHIN 1 pic.twitter.com/EO0Ze7y71K— Bally Sports Arizona (@BallySportSAZ) May 2, 2021
The Coyotes would tie things up on their next power play when Nicolas Hague was called for roughing.
It wasn’t anything flashy. The Coyotes had the zone and were doing a good job at moving the puck around. Clayton Keller was able to find Christian Dvorak all alone in the faceoff circle, and Dvorak’s wrist shot went past Fleury to tie things up.
The Coyotes would get another power play to finish out regulation, but they didn’t weren’t able to take advantage a second time. Regulation ended with things all tied at two.
Halfway through overtime, before the Coyotes had registered their first shot on goal, Arizona was assessed a bench minor for too many men on the ice. Jonathan Marchessault would score on the power play, and that was all she wrote.
Last night was another showcase of how important the special teams are. And it isn’t just whether or not you score during the power play, Vegas was able to turn their first kill into a momentum boost, and they maintained possession after an unsuccessful power play for their second goal.
The Coyotes did manage to tie the game on the power play, so it’s hard to say they were terrible. But that one good power play doesn’t make up for the three others they failed to convert on.
We also saw another poor start for the Desert Dogs. They won on Friday because they started on time, but they didn’t show up until midway through the second last night. But with only five games left, we shouldn’t expect them to change now.
Coyotes who have played in all 51 games this season, with five to go including tonight: Chychrun, Schmaltz, Keller, Dvorak, Goligoski, Kessel. Those six looking at No, 52 this evening.— José M. Romero (@RomeroJoseM) May 2, 2021
- Darcy Kuemper and Marc-André Fleury were in net for last night's game. Kuemper played extremely well after two shaky starts against the Scottsdale Sharks, but he looked great against the Golden Knights.
- I hope to get into this during the offseason, but the Coyotes did not do a good job managing starts this season. However, starting Kuemper in the second game of a back-to-back was the right call, both because Kuemper played well and in general you don't want to start a goalie both games of a back-to-back if you can avoid it.
- After the Coyotes got their first goal, Lawson Crouse was called for hooking Mark Stone. It was an extremely weak call, but the Coyotes would kill the penalty without incident.
- The too many men call was maybe a bit weak, but it was there and should have been called. If there is a penalty the refs can't be afraid to call it, even if it is during overtime.
- Jonathan Marchessault - 1 goal and 1 assist
- Darcy Kuemper - 31 saves on 34 shots
- Christian Fischer - 1 goal
The Coyotes are staying in Glendale and they will be playing the Los Angeles Kings on Monday at 7:00 pm.