Nick Schmaltz got the Coyotes on the board with his first shot on goal, an absolute rocket from the top of the faceoff circle.
Confirmed: Nick Schmaltz is back. pic.twitter.com/U1rAQIiGo7— Arizona Coyotes (@ArizonaCoyotes) November 24, 2022
The goal was Schmaltz’s first of the season and came from who else but Clayton Keller.
Unfortunately, after that quick start, the Coyotes would do everything they could to kill any momentum.
Seconds later, Troy Stecher sent the puck over the glass and was sent to the box for delay of game. The Coyotes would take two more penalties in the first seven minutes and ten seconds, including a second delay of game call for Lawson Crouse.
And all the while, the Carolina Hurricanes kept firing shots at Karel Vejmelka. After 20 minutes, the Hurricanes outshot the Coyotes 14-1, and it would have been worse if the Yotes weren’t blocking shot after shot.
That includes Stecher, who made up for his earlier penalty by sacrificing his body with two big blocked shots. Stecher looked like he was in a lot of pain as we went to the locker, but he thankfully returned and finished with just over 13 minutes of ice time.
After bending but not breaking for the first 20 minutes, the Coyotes had a much better middle frame. The Desert Dogs got their first power play when Derek Stepan went to the box for cross-checking, and although they couldn’t convert, they were starting to look engaged.
That carried all the way through the period, thanks partly to two more power plays. The big one was Andrei Svechnikov, who was sent to the box with 12 seconds left in the period for interference.
The Coyotes couldn’t convert in the final seconds and started the final frame on the power play. Arizona kept the zone as Svechnikov exited the box, and Lawson Crouse backhanded a shot past Pyotr Kochetkov into the net.
Can't contain Crouser. pic.twitter.com/bxQZBwZ1i2— Arizona Coyotes (@ArizonaCoyotes) November 24, 2022
Assisting on the goal was Dylan Guenther, who had been a healthy scratch in the Coyotes’ last game, and Janis Moser, who notched his tenth assist on the play.
Thankfully, the Coyotes did not let up with the two-goal lead, as we have seen them do in the past. Instead, they kept pushing, and less than seven minutes later, they got on the board again with another 5-on-5 goal.
Good luck stopping, Bjugy. pic.twitter.com/ILV26OvVwM— Arizona Coyotes (@ArizonaCoyotes) November 24, 2022
This time it was Nick Bjugstad getting his fourth of the season and third in two games. He was in front of the net, and the goal required him to hold off Jordan Staal, who was trying desperately to clear the puck.
Of course, even a three-goal lead isn’t always enough to put away the Carolina Hurricanes. On Monday, the Hurricanes were down 3-0 going into the final five minutes against the Winnipeg Jets before they scored three goals and forced the game into overtime.
So it came as no surprise that the Hurricanes pulled Kochetkov early for the extra attacker. But the Coyotes preserved Vejmelka’s shutout, and with just over two minutes left in regulation, Lawson Crouse got the empty-netter.
Assisting on the goal were Shayne Gostisbehere, recording his second assist of the night, and Jakob Chychrun. In just their second game back from injury, both Schmaltz and Chychrun registered their first point of the season.
Lined up and ready to go in Raleigh! pic.twitter.com/tWZZNH2Zcy— Arizona Coyotes (@ArizonaCoyotes) November 23, 2022
- Karel Vejmelka - 36 saves on 36 shots
- Lawson Crouse - 2 goals
- Dylan Guenther - 2 assists
The Coyotes will be back in action tomorrow against the Detroit Red Wings at 6:00 pm Arizona time.