After a week of being plagued by slow starts, the Arizona Coyotes finally had a good opening frame last night against the New York Rangers. But unfortunately, the Desert Dogs couldn’t keep up the pace and saw the Rangers have one of the biggest comebacks this season with six unanswered goals.
The Coyotes took an early lead less than two and half minutes in with some good secondary scoring. Shayne Gostisbehere sent the puck to the front of the net towards Loui Eriksson, who quickly passed it over to Liam O’Brien. O’Brien, the Coyotes’ resident pugilist, knocked the puck into a wide-open cage, and suddenly the Coyotes were up 1-0.
After watching the games against the New Jersey Devils and New York Islanders, it was great to see the Coyotes come out hard and get an early goal. Teams need to be able to make adjustments, and it was good to see the Coyotes have a good first period for once.
Unfortunately, it didn’t take long for the Rangers to even things up, with Jacob Trouba scoring on the Rangers’ first shot on goal 46 seconds later. Not a great sign, but the Coyotes were still outshooting the Rangers, so there was no reason to worry yet.
Arizona regained the lead not long after, with Andrew Ladd getting his sixth of the season. Ladd found an open spot in front of the net and knocked in a centering feed from Christian Fischer from behind the net. It was a smart play, and not even halfway through the opening frame, the Coyotes were up 2-1.
The Rangers took the first penalty of the game, but the Coyotes couldn’t do much on the power play, and halfway through, Travis Boyd was called for high-sticking, killing any remaining time. The Rangers did start to push as the first period expired, but the opening frame ended with the Coyotes up 2-1.
The second period started, and neither team took control of the game. The Coyotes were still outshooting the Rangers, but you could tell they were coming alive.
Arizona got on the board one last time midway through the second. After seeing both teams struggle to control the puck, the Coyotes were able to gain the zone, and Nick Schmaltz was going hard to the net. Instead, Schmaltz elected to pass back to a wide-open Clayton Keller, who fired, and all of a sudden, the Yotes were up 3-1.
The Coyotes were given a golden opportunity a few minutes later when Ryan Strome was called for slashing, and the Coyotes got their second power play of the game. But, unfortunately, that would be the start of their downfall.
A good power play can change the course of a game. It can give you a goal or some much-needed momentum moving forward. But the Coyotes do not have a good power play, and instead, Chris Kreider scored short-handed, and the Rangers were back to within one.
What happened next was something we have seen many times before this season, the second-period collapse caused by a single mistake. The goal gave the Rangers all the momentum, and they were about to make the Coyotes pay.
Four minutes after the short-handed goal, the Rangers scored again, with Julien Gauthier getting his third of the season, tying the game at three.
Frustration was starting to build, and not long after, Johan Larsson got called for roughing. Artemi Panarin scored seconds into the power play, and the Rangers had taken the lead for the first time this game.
Chris Kreider scored again with 78 seconds left in the middle frame, and the Coyotes had gone from being up 3-1 to being down 5-3 with twenty minutes left to go. Whatever they had been doing right in the first period was gone, and things were not looking good.
Any hopes of a comeback were dashed when Jacob Trouba scored his eighth of the season a minute and a half into the final frame. The Coyotes were down by three and were getting outplayed.
Arizona did get an early power play when Alexis Lafrenière took a tripping call, but they couldn’t get anything done. And then, when Alex Galchenyuk was called for interference, Kreider completed his hat-trick on the power play, scoring his 29th of the season.
The Coyotes lost for so many reasons, but the power play really stands out. The Rangers’ comeback started with a short-handed goal, the only goal scored during a Coyotes’ power play. And while the Desert Dogs were struggling with the man advantage, the Rangers were able to take the lead with a Panarin power play goal and end the game with a Kreider power play goal.
- Chris Kreider - 3 goals, 1 assist
- Artemi Panarin - 1 goal, 1 assist
- Mika Zibanejad - 3 assists
The Coyotes will stay on the road and host the Pittsburgh Penguins this Tuesday at 5:00 pm Arizona time.