After two loose, high-scoring affairs, tonight’s game was somewhat tighter. The Coyotes had brief moments of solid play, but they were severely outshot from start to finish.
The Coyotes had a few good looks throughout the first, with Phil Kessel and Clayton Keller having the biggest stand-out moments, but they couldn’t solve Connor Hellebuyck.
Both teams continued to trade chances, with the Jets leading in shots on goal. Then, late in the first, Winnipeg finally broke through, with Evgeny Svechnikov finding a spot of open ice and getting his third of the season.
Arizona had a golden opportunity to tie it up half a minute later when Brenden Dillon was sent to the box for interference. But the Coyotes’ power play came up short, and the first period ended with them down 1-0 with four seconds left on their first power play.
Unfortunately, they couldn’t carry any momentum into the second period thanks to a penalty 48 seconds in, continuing the trend of Arizona taking poorly timed penalties.
The second period was more of the same. Arizona did a good job keeping the Jets from running away with it, but they couldn’t get much going themselves.
Lawson Crouse had the Coyotes’ first good look of the middle frame just over seven minutes in when he muscled the puck towards the front of the net and drew a tripping penalty. The Coyotes’ resulting power play saw them register their first two shots of the period, but otherwise, the Jets continued to lead 1-0.
Just over two minutes after the failed power play, the Coyotes were headed back to the box with Ilya Lyubushkin getting called for hooking. Again, any chance of building momentum was cut short.
Winnipeg had good possession, but the seconds ticked away, and it looked like the Coyotes were going to keep the Jets’ lead at one. But in the dying seconds of the man-advantage, Pierre-Luc Dubois squeaked the puck past Karel Vejmelka, giving the Jets a 2-0 lead.
The Jets would start the third on another power play with Shayne Gostisbehere sitting in the box for cross-checking. Arizona managed to kill it, with plenty of time left to hopefully even things up.
Gostisbehere would make up for the late penalty early in the third period. The Jets were in the process of clearing the puck when Gostisbehere picked up an errant pass as he was coming off the bench. He went straight up the ice and fired the puck past Hellebuyck, cutting the Jets’ lead in half.
First goal of 2022 goes to... pic.twitter.com/7RMotSv4cQ— Arizona Coyotes (@ArizonaCoyotes) January 5, 2022
It was a good goal, and it gave the Coyotes a bit of hope as the minutes ticked away.
But unfortunately, Arizona’s habit of taking bad penalties continued, and Kessel was called for slashing just over two minutes later. Tensions seemed to heat up as the Jets’ power play expired, and Ilya Lyubushkin and Pierre-Luc Dubois were sent to the box for roughing.
The Coyotes kept up the pressure, and had a few good looks as the ending approached. Heach Coach Tourigny pulled Vejmelka with about two and half minutes left, and the Coyotes had a few good looks with the extra attacker. They had to make a few diving saves to keep the zone, but it only took one error for the Jets to clear and Nikolaj Ehlers to fire it into the empty net to give the Jets a 3-1 lead.
Winnipeg outshot the Coyotes 48-27 and deserved to win this one. Arizona could have made things interesting if they had converted on one of their two power plays, but it was Winnipeg’s game to lose. But hopefully, any leftover rust is gone now, and the Coyotes will be ready to face the Chicago Blackhawks later this week.
Update: Antoine Roussel is in for Alex Galchenyuk. https://t.co/AVLbJ5v7M5— Arizona Coyotes (@ArizonaCoyotes) January 5, 2022
- Pierre-Luc Dubois - Game-winning goal
- Shayne Gostisbehere - Goal
- Mark Scheifele - 2 assists
The Coyotes will next host the Chicago Blackhawks this Thursday at 7:00 pm Arizona time.