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Coyotes Game 54 Recap: Kings win 4-2, Coyotes officially eliminated

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The Coyotes fall in their final home game of the season.

Los Angeles Kings v Arizona Coyotes Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Game Recap

And with that, the Arizona Coyotes are mathematically eliminated. And it didn't come from a St. Louis win but from a loss 4-2 loss to the Los Angeles Kings.

It was a game like so many we had seen this season, in all the good and the bad. After a solid first period, Luke Lapinski tweeted a perfect summary of all the good things we have come to expect from the Coyotes.

We even saw some good things we hardly ever see. Chychrun's goal came on the power play, a rarity, and he wasn't the only defenseman who scored.

Oliver Ekman-Larsson started the scoring early with a wrist shot from the blue line. It was a good shot, one that has been deflected in more than a few times this season.

Ekman-Larsson has struggled this season, and it's so strange seeing him get his third when Chychrun is chasing the single-season goals by a defenseman record that he set.

But with all that good, we also saw all the team's faults. The things that always seem to doom the Coyotes.

We saw defensive breakdowns, with Gabriel Vilardi scoring twice after finding himself all alone.

The Coyotes weren't able to convert on their next three power plays. And again, we saw a bad power play translate into a major loss of momentum. The Kings weren't able to convert with that momentum, but the power play just seems to suck the life out of the team.

Most importantly, we saw the Coyotes’ inability to score the third goal cost them. If you were making a list of all the reasons the Coyotes were eliminated tonight, their inability to score the third goal would be one of them.

Arizona had their chances, again, but couldn't find a way to convert. It's something that we have seen so many times this season. And in what was arguably the biggest period of the season, down 3-2 with twenty minutes to go, they are outshot 10-6. It was the only period when they were outshot.

These are the things that we have seen all season. And with the offseason fast approaching, the Coyotes’ management needs to make a lot of decisions about the future.

Lines

Stray Thoughts

  • Adin Hill got the start tonight, and he looked a bit shakey. Not terrible, and he made some huge saves to keep the Coyotes in the game, but he looked a bit rusty. He wasn't taking a lot of shots, so it's possible he was having problems finding his groove.
  • Anže Kopitar came into Arizona with 997 career points. He had a goal and an assist on Monday, and an assist on Sean Walker's empty-net goal after he won the faceoff. He is the 91st player to reach 1,000 points, truly an astonishing accomplishment.
  • When you remove Jakob Chychrun's 18 goals, the Coyotes' defensemen have only scored 8 goals. But with the team officially eliminated, we may see Victor Söderström in one of the final two games.
  • Coyotes seemed to do a better job clearing the net. During the TV broadcast, someone mentioned that the Coyotes were collapsing too early, so they traded one problem for another. Everything has to follow the Law of Equivalent Exchange.

Three Stars

  1. Anže Kopitar - 1,000th point
  2. Jakob Chychrun - 18th goal of the season
  3. Gabriel Vilardi - 2 goals

Next Game

The season isn't over yet, and the Coyotes will travel to San Jose to play the Sharks on Friday. It is the first game of a back-to-back to close out the season.