The Arizona Coyotes and Colorado Avalanche played the first game of a back-to-back, and it did not go the way most people predicted. The Avalanche are one of the top teams while the Yotes are hoping to win the draft lottery; it should have been no contest. But thanks to a complete effort and fantastic goaltending, Arizona bounced back from a 2-0 deficit and walked away with a point after falling in the shootout.
Colorado came out fast, and it didn’t take long for them to get on the board. Four and a half minutes into the game, the Avalanche brought the puck in and set up. Devon Toews fired the puck from the point, and Ivan Prosvetov made the initial save, but Mikko Rantanen picked up the rebound and fired it in.
The Avalanche continued to control the game, outshooting the Desert Dogs 2 to 1. Ivan Prosvetov needed to make some big saves and got a little luck with an Avalanche shot hitting the post.
But the Avalanche kept up the pressure, and the Coyotes’ luck wasn’t going to last forever. Colorado finally broke through midway through the first. Kurtis MacDermid centered the puck from behind the net to a wide-open Tyson Jost, and just like that, the Avalanche were up 2-0.
Things looked like they were getting about to go from bad to worst not long after when Andrew Ladd took the game’s first penalty. But with half a minute left, Clayton Keller stole a puck from Toews and went up ice. Keller muscled Toews off the puck as he went hard to the net, and the puck tricked off his stick and past Pavel Francouz and into the net.
The Coyotes were down, but not out. The second period started with both teams taking early penalties resulting in a minute of 4-on-4 hockey. Neither team scored, but penalties would prove to be a big part of the second.
The second period has been a rough one for the Coyotes this season, but the Desert Dogs came out looking surprisingly good. They looked like a team that knew that they still had work to do, and it didn't take long for them to get rewarded.
Six minutes into the period, the Coyotes gained the zone and were doing a good job cycling the puck. Andrew Ladd had the puck by the goal line and dropped it to Johan Larsson, who fired it home to tie the game.
tic-tac-tie game. pic.twitter.com/Lnu0rgulde— Arizona Coyotes #VOTE4PHIL (@ArizonaCoyotes) January 15, 2022
Arizona would get a golden opportunity to take the lead late in the middle frame. Ilya Lybushkin had delivered a big clean hit on Cale Makar, but Kurtis MacDermid took exception and immediately skated over, dropping his gloves.
The fight didn’t actually happen, but both players were given minor penalties for roughing. In addition, MacDermid was given an extra minor for unsportsmanlike conduct, and the Avalanche were accessed a bench minor for too many men, and the Coyotes had two minutes of 5-on-3.
Unfortunately, the Coyotes power play couldn’t get anything going on the two-man advantage until the dying seconds. Janis Moser took a soft hooking call not long after the penalty expired, and the score remained tied 2-2.
Both teams came out with energy, and the score didn’t stay 2-2 for long. Arizona struck first less than a minute in after Lawson Crouse won an offensive zone faceoff. Phil Kessel picked up the puck and did an excellent job skating around Colorado defenders to keep the zone. Kessel was able to find a wide-open Shayne Gostisbehere, who fired a one-timer from the top of the faceoff circle past Francouz.
an absolute rocket. pic.twitter.com/N43KezlMxa— Arizona Coyotes #VOTE4PHIL (@ArizonaCoyotes) January 15, 2022
Things weren’t going to be that easy, though. Seconds after the Gostisbehere goal, André Burakovsky picked up a pass from Toews and fired it past Prosvetov, netting his 14th of the season.
And the Avalanche didn’t let up after tying the game. Instead, they kept up the pressure and forced the Coyotes to play in their own zone.
Arizona had to kill two penalties, but Coyotes did a good job keeping the shots to the outside, and Prosvetov made the saves he needed to. He continued to have a solid showing as the Avalanche continued to fire shot after shot.
The Coyotes would get another golden opportunity in the final minutes of regulation when Mikko Rantanen was called from, but they couldn’t make anything happen. The power play carried into overtime, but the Coyotes could not find the game-winner.
Despite some really good looks, neither team scored in overtime, and the game went to the shootout. After five shooters with no goals, Nazem Kadri tucked the puck past Prosvetov’s skate and into the back of the net, winning the game for the Avalanche.
The Coyotes made a strong effort and a strong performance from goaltender Ivan Prosvetov, playing in his second game of the season. Prosvetov looked composed against a very good Avalanche team and made a few tremendous saves to keep the team in it. Prosvetov will likely head back to Tucson to finish off the season with the Roadrunners, but he showed why he is the Coyotes’ goaltending prospect to watch.
Lines are in. pic.twitter.com/Ov6YNnZovH— Arizona Coyotes #VOTE4PHIL (@ArizonaCoyotes) January 15, 2022
- André Burakovsky - Goal and an assist
- Devon Toews - 2 assists
- Clayton Keller - Short-handed goal
These two teams will play each other tomorrow in Arizona at 7:00 pm.