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Coyotes Game 41 Recap: Another game, another collapse

The Arizona Coyotes saw the Pittsburgh Penguins score four unanswered goals in the third period leading to a 6-3 Penguins win.

Arizona Coyotes v Pittsburgh Penguins Photo by Emilee Chinn/Getty Images

Game Recap

Another game, another implosion. The Arizona Coyotes dropped their game last night against the Pittsburgh Penguins 6-3, giving them a 1-3-0 record on their four-game road trip.

Things started pretty slow, and neither team was able to get much going in the first period. Neither team took any penalties, and there were few stops, and though the Coyotes finished being outshot 10-4, there was still a bit of hope.

Arizona finally started to come alive during the second period. Again, they weren’t playing great, but they were beginning to make something happen.

The Coyotes got on the board first after building some momentum from a successful penalty kill. The action started on the other end of the ice with the Penguins winning a faceoff and getting a shot on goal. Kyle Capobianco blocked the shot, and the puck went up with Clayton Keller and Nick Schmaltz going towards the net. Keller passed the puck over to Schmaltz, who fired it home, giving the Coyotes the night’s first goal.

The lead didn’t last long, and when Liam O’Brien sent a puck over the glass, the Penguins were back on the power play. Unfortunately, the Coyotes couldn’t kill this one, and a phenomenal pass from Sidney Crosby to Bryan Rust tied the game at one.

Late in the second, the Coyotes got their first power play of the game, a 5-on-3 for a full two minutes after Clayton Keller drew two penalties.

Keller drew the penalties, and Keller managed to score the goal. The Coyotes had pretty good puck movement, and Shayne Gostisbehere found an open Keller. Keller went top shelf with his shot, and the Coyotes had regained the lead.o

Unfortunately, a Travis Boyd penalty negated the final few seconds of the Coyotes’ power play and gave the Penguins an abbreviated power play.

Crosby was heavily involved in this power play too and was able to find a wide-open Kris Letang. Letang fired a quick wrist shot past Karel Vejmelka, tying the game at two.

The middle frame ended with the score tied 2-2, with just one more period left. If the Coyotes could win the final frame, they would win the game.

Things started well for the Coyotes, who regained the lead less than three minutes into the period. Schmaltz was able to pick up the puck at center ice and went hard to the net. He was able to out-muscle Mike Matheson on his way back to protect the puck and the fire past Tristian Jarry.

But just like the rest of the game, the Penguins weren’t dead yet, and they quickly tied things up again. This time it was Brock McGinn, netting his tenth of the season two minutes later.

Unfortunately, things quickly went downhill from there. Sidney Crosby scored his 11th of the season just over seven minutes in, which started the inevitable collapse. Kris Letang and Brian Boyle would score in the next seven minutes, and a 3-3 tie suddenly became a 6-3 Penguins win.

The Coyotes lost last night for the same reason they lost against the Rangers, they weren’t able to put their opponent away after scoring goals. But, of course, there is a perfectly valid reason for that, they were playing one of the best teams again, and it’s very difficult to put good teams away.

Fewer penalties certainly would have helped. The Coyotes only took three, but two came almost immediately after goals. Giving the Penguins a power play is always a recipe for disaster, especially if they are motivated to tie things back up.


Three Stars

  1. Sidney Crosby - Game-winning goal, two assists
  2. Bryan Rust - Goal and two assists
  3. Nick Schmaltz - Two goals and an assist

Next Game

The Coyotes are heading back home and will host the Boston Bruins on Friday at 7:00 pm.