The Arizona Coyotes love coming home to Mullett Arena. They don’t always play their best at home, but they always seem to give it a little extra effort in their first game back from a road trip, and they showed that last night with a 2-1 shootout win over the Los Angeles Kings.
Special teams were key in last night’s win, with both teams getting their goals with the man advantage. The Coyotes struck first when Brendan Lemieux was given a double minor for roughing, compared to the single minor Lawson Crouse was assessed, and Trevor Moore followed that up by hooking Shayne Gostisbehere 18 seconds later. Then, during the 5-on-3, Clayton Keller passed the puck to a waiting Nick Schmaltz, who fired it into a wide-open net to make it 1-0.
Keller ➡️ Schmaltz— Arizona Coyotes (@ArizonaCoyotes) December 24, 2022
Making it look easy. pic.twitter.com/T9hTpyTXsb
It was a perfect pass from Keller and excellent positioning from Nick Schmaltz to give the Coyotes an early lead. But, unfortunately, the Coyotes couldn’t do it again when they got another power play just under 12 minutes in or for the rest of the game.
After a rough start, the Kings did wake up in the middle frame. Midway through the period, they got their first power play when Nick Ritchie was sent to the box for tripping, and they made the most of it.
Alex Iafallo tied things up for the Kings with a one-timer from the top of the circle. Karel Vejmelka was partially screened on the play, but not enough that he probably didn’t want that one back.
With just under 30 minutes left in regulation, there was still a lot of hockey left to be played, but neither team took the lead. The third period ended up a bit of a slog with both teams only registering five shots on goal each, and the game was headed for overtime.
Neither team managed to get the game-winner in overtime, even though the Coyotes had a great chance when they were given a power play seconds in. But the game ended on a high note, with Nick Bjugstad scoring the lone goal in the shootout to give the Coyotes the win over their long-time rivals.
- Nick Schmaltz - Save
- Gabriel Vilardi - Save
- Nick Bjugstad - Goal
- Trevor Moore - Miss
- Clayton Keller - Miss
- Adrian Kempe - Miss
- Nick Schmaltz - Goal
- Karel Vejmelka - 26 saves on 27 shots
- Alex Iafallo - Goal
The Coyotes will be back in action on Tuesday as they host the Colorado Avalanche at the Mullett Arena.