The Arizona Coyotes probably did not deserve tonight’s game against the Nashville Predators. They took way too many penalties, giving the Predators seven chances with the man advantage in regulation and overtime. But they somehow managed to continue to come back, all the way to the seventh round of a shootout.
Arizona has had problems starting games since they gave up three to the Pittsburgh Penguins five minutes and ten seconds into their first game of the season. The exact reason changes, but the current issue is penalties, with the trend continuing with three calls to start the game.
Barrett Hayton, Jusso Välimäki, and Nick Schmaltz all went to the box for tripping, interference, and elbowing in the first 6:35. Nashville finally broke through 29 seconds into the Schmaltz penalty, with Mickael Granlund getting his second of the season.
Thankfully, the goal woke the Desert Dogs up, and they started playing. After being outshot 7-2 to outshooting the Predators 12-11 to finish the period. Part of that was avoiding penalties outside of Josh Brown and Cole Smith dropping the gloves and getting sent to the box for fighting.
After a few good looks to end the first, the Coyotes finally broke through in the first half of the second. Crouse scored his seventh of the season on a breakaway after picking up a beautiful pass for Nick Bjugstad, tying the game 1-1.
What a dart, Crouser. pic.twitter.com/acynFDnZd5— Arizona Coyotes (@ArizonaCoyotes) November 22, 2022
With that goal, Lawson Crouse tied Clayton Keller for most goals on the team, and Matias Maccelli tied Seattle’s Matty Beniers for most points by a rookie.
Not only had the Coyotes tied the game, but they also tied it 5-on-5. Arizona has struggled to score 5-on-5 for the past few games, relying heavily on their power play for offense, so it was great to see them getting rewarded.
And that wasn’t all for the Coyotes. Seven minutes later, Bjugstad scored his second of the season for JJ Moser and Barrett Hayton when he knocked the puck past Juuse Saros’ leg to give the Yotes the 2-1 lead.
It was not Bjugstad’s prettiest goal of the night, but it gave the Coyotes their first lead of the game. Nick Ritchie and JJ Moser recorded assists, and Bjugstad continued to have a great night.
The Coyotes were up 2-1 when the puck dropped on the final frame, but that didn’t last long. Roman Josi tied the game on the power play on an early Matias Maccelli penalty, and Matt Duchene gave them the 3-2 lead 28 seconds later.
Conor Ingram shook off the two early goals and did his best to keep the Yotes in the game. He made some big saves to keep within one; he just needed some support.
Unfortunately for him, penalties would continue to be a problem as the third period expired. But in a move that the Coyotes will hopefully not try to repeat, they managed to tie it with Nick Bjugstad getting his second of the night short-handed.
HAVE A NIGHT, BJUGSTAD! pic.twitter.com/rPM1OuR75X— Arizona Coyotes (@ArizonaCoyotes) November 22, 2022
It was a great goal that showcased Bjugstad’s skill better than his first of the night. It was the Coyotes’ second short-handed goal of the season, but more importantly, it kept the Coyotes in the game.
The Coyotes got close to ending it with a late goal, but 60 minutes wasn’t enough to finish this one. Overtime wasn’t either, even though the Coyotes almost shot themselves in the foot with a late penalty.
The game would be decided in the shootout, and it would be quite a show. Both goaltenders made some big saves, and there were some pretty goals from both teams.
But in the seventh round, Ingram didn’t get all of Cody Glass’ shot, and the puck deflected into the goal. Shayne Gostisbehere couldn’t keep the Yotes in the game, and Nashville won. Nick Bjugstad, Clayton Keller, and Nick Ritchie all scored for the Coyotes, and Ingram made some key saves to keep the Coyotes in the game.
Ingram did everything he could to keep the Coyotes in this game and probably deserved a win. The Coyotes came from behind twice, and Ingram deserves a lot of credit for that.
- Mikael Granland - Save
- Nick Schmaltz - Save
- Matt Duchene - Goal
- Nick Bjugstad - Goal
- Filip Forsberg - Goal
- Clayton Keller - Goal
- Ryan Johansen - Goal
- Nick Ritchie - Goal
- Roman Josi - Save
- Matias Maccelli - Save
- Juuso Parssinen - Save
- Travis Boyd - Save
- Cody Glass - Goal
- Shayne Gostisbehere - Save
Chychy and Schmaltzy are back.— Arizona Coyotes (@ArizonaCoyotes) November 22, 2022
Let’s go. pic.twitter.com/UwhpoL1BsO
- Mikael Granlund - Goal and an assist
- Nick Bjugstad - 2 goals and an assist
- Matt Duchene - Goal
The Coyotes’ road trip will continue with a matchup against the Carolina Hurricanes this Wednesday at 5:00 pm Arizona time.