Once again, it was the Coyotes’ power play leading their offensive. Gustav Nyquist was in the box for hooking, and Shayne Gostisbehere continued to be a dominating force with his third goal of the season and the first of the night from Travis Boyd and Clayton Keller.
Ghost joined Clayton Keller and Travis Boyd on the rush to the net, and the Blue Jackets were giving him space, so why not fire?
It didn’t take long for the Coyotes to double their lead. Six and half minutes later, Zack Kassian would get his first as a Coyote.
Kassian showed tremendous determination as he kept the play alive before the goal and then hammered away at the puck until it slipped Daniil Tarasov.
Arizona would take their first penalty late in the period, so it wasn’t a perfect 20 minutes, but it was by far the best opening frame this season. They killed it, as they would every penalty tonight.
The Coyotes started the second period with back-to-back power plays, including some time spent 5-on-3, but they couldn’t get the next goal. Instead, the Blue Jackets started to push back and seemed to be gaining momentum with the successful kills.
If you want to stop your opponent from building momentum, the easiest way is just to score a goal yourself. And who else but Shayne Gostisbehere, getting his second of the night with a beauty just over two minutes from the halfway point?
It involved another stellar play from Clayton Keller, who found a streaking Ghost heading to the front of the net. Not exactly the goal you would expect from a defenseman, but again if you have the room, why not.
The Coyotes had a three-goal lead, but they weren’t about to let up. After killing a bench minor for too many men on the ice, the Coyotes got a golden opportunity when Jake Bean was sent off for high-sticking.
This time it wasn’t Ghost, but Dylan Guenther, who scored his second of the season from Juuso Välimäki and Matias Maccelli.
Is it a dagger? A bullet? Nope, that’s a Guenther goal. pic.twitter.com/4JyaspY1jR— Arizona Coyotes (@ArizonaCoyotes) October 26, 2022
The goal was a repeat of the Yotes’ last games against the Ottawa Senators, which also saw Guenther score on the power play in the second period from Matias Maccelli and Juuso Välimäki.
That was it for Tarasov, who had given up four goals on 12 shots. Elvis Merzļikins would be in net for the rest of the period and the rest of the game.
Arizona continued to apply pressure in the final frame, and they got their first five-goal lead early in the period.
McBain wanted to join the party. pic.twitter.com/EziOZjnurC— Arizona Coyotes (@ArizonaCoyotes) October 26, 2022
It was another first goal of the season, this time Jack McBain from Christian Fischer and Liam O’Brien. It was another case of the Blue Jackets giving the Coyotes way too much space, and it helped solidify the Yotes’ lead.
The five-goal lead didn’t last long, with Johnny Gaudreau getting his fifth of the season four and a half minutes later. The Coyotes still had a commanding lead, though, and they did an excellent job at avoiding a late-game collapse.
It didn’t hurt that the Coyotes had a four-minute power play midway through the period when Yegor Chinakhov caught Liam O’Brien up high, drawing blood. The Coyotes couldn’t score with the man advantage, but it at least killed some clock.
The Blue Jackets would get another power play opportunity, but the Coyotes’ penalty kill kept up and killed their fifth penalty of the night.
As the minutes ticked away, a Blue Jackets comeback started to look less and less likely. Even when Kent Johnson got his third of the season with two and a half minutes left, the Coyotes still had a commanding three-goal lead.
Lawson Crouse made it all but over with an empty netter with 20 seconds left in regulation for his second of the season. Andrew Peeke would give the Blue Jackets their third of the game with just nine seconds left, but that was all for goals.
The Coyotes finally played a full 60-minute game and managed to do it against a good team. It wasn’t perfect, but the Coyotes should be proud of their effort tonight.
- Shayne Gostisbehere - 2 goals and an assist
- Clayton Keller - 3 assists
- Johnny Gaudreau - Goal
The Coyotes will play their first game at Mullett Arena this Friday as they host the Winnipeg Jets at 7:30 pm.