The Arizona Coyotes had a very slow start for the second straight game. But unlike Wednesday against the New Jersey Devils, the Coyotes couldn’t recover in enough time and fell to the New York Islanders tonight.
It thankfully didn’t take most of the period for the Coyotes to get their first shot on goal, but they weren’t getting any good chances. We saw an early two-minute 4-on-4 with Alex Galchenyuk getting called for hooking and Brock Nelson getting called for embellishment, but neither team could do much with the extra ice.
It was a low shooting first period, and the Islanders didn’t get their first shot on goal until midway through the first when they were on a power play, and neither team had much going for them.
Even though the Islanders didn’t score on the power play, it gave them momentum to build off.
The Islanders broke through just under 14 minutes into the first when Scott Mayfield got his second of the season. It was a simple play; the Islanders won an offensive zone faceoff and worked the puck around to Scott Mayfield. Travis Boyd and Anders Lee were jostling for position in front of the net, preventing Scott Wedgewood from seeing Mayfield’s shot.
Mayfield was involved in the Islanders’ second goal just under three minutes later. Wedgewood had positioned himself to block Mayfield’s shot, but Austin Czarnik was posted in front of the net and able to deflect the shot into the net.
Liam O’Brien looked to give his team a spark when he dropped the gloves with Matt Martin, and the first period came to an end with the Coyotes down 2-0.
The Coyotes definitely improved in the second, and the shot totals got a little closer. The Coyotes finally started getting good looks, even if they couldn’t get anything past Ilya Sorokin.
The third period started with the Coyotes down, but not out, but didn’t last long. Brock Nelson got the scoring started early on a 2-on-1 which saw him getting his 12th of the season less than a month and a half in.
Things went from bad to worse midway through the final frame, and of course, it was Brock Nelson again. The Islanders had the zone when Lawson Crouse pushed Brock Nelson. While Crouse and Nelson were crashing the crease, Anthony Beauvillier fired a shot that deflected in off Nelson’s body and into the back of the net.
The play was reviewed, but it was determined that the goal did not cross the net illegally. It was the right call to make, Crouse pushed Nelson into Wedgewood, and it doesn’t make sense to say Nelson interfered when Crouse was responsible for pushing him.
That was it for that game; neither team managed another goal. The Coyotes didn’t even bother pulling Wedgewood, they knew it wouldn’t make a difference.
Despite the bad outcome, we didn’t see many of the Coyotes’ worst attributes during the game. They were fairly disciplined, giving the Islanders only had two power plays. And the Coyotes managed to kill them, so the penalty kill deserves credit.
Goaltender Scott Wedgewood looked good in his first game back, and it’s tough to blame him for any of the goals. But, unfortunately, solid goaltending alone isn’t going to win games, someone needs to score.
- Brock Nelson - 2 goals
- Ilya Sorokin - 17 saves on 17 shots
- Scott Wedgewood - 31 saves on 35 shots
The Coyotes will be staying in the city as they play the New York Rangers tomorrow at 5:00 pm Arizona time.