After a rough showing against the Vancouver Canucks the Arizona Coyotes need a response game. They needed a win to get their heads back in the game and give them some momentum going into a tough game against the Tampa Bay Lightning later this week. And they got that win last night with a 5-2 win over the Seattle Kraken, their second win against the expansion team.
The Coyotes didn’t take long to get on the board, with Phil Kessel getting his sixth of the season. Kessel was able to pick up a loose puck after a turnover in the offensive zone, draw out Phillipp Grubauer, and fire it home.
Kessel was Phil'ing this one. pic.twitter.com/WUF36pusiX— Arizona Coyotes (@ArizonaCoyotes) February 10, 2022
Arizona did a good job protecting the lead as the period expired. Karel Vejmalkea had to make some big saves early on, and the Desert Dogs looked fully engaged.
Antoine Roussel took the first call in the game late in the opening frame, but the Coyotes went into the second period with their lead intact. The Coyotes would get their first power play midway through the second, but they were unable to add to their lead with the man advantage.
They didn’t score, but the power play did appear to give the Coyotes some momentum and confidence. And not long after the penalty expired, Alex Galchenyuk found a streaking Nick Schmaltz, who fired the puck past Grubauer, giving the Yotes the 2-0 lead.
Schmaltzmas came to Seattle. pic.twitter.com/HOzETIyMrM— Arizona Coyotes (@ArizonaCoyotes) February 10, 2022
The Coyotes have not had much luck in the second period this season, and it was great to see them not only maintain their lead but build off it. Things looked to be getting better for the Coyotes as they got a late power play of their own, although they were unable to score.
Unfortunately, the poor play on that power play carried over into the third period, and Colin Blackwell scored just as the penalty to Vince Dunn expired. It was one second away from being a short-handed goal, but either way, the Kraken had cut the Yotes’ lead in half.
Thankfully, the Coyotes didn’t collapse after giving up a goal. Instead, they stayed calm, and less than two minutes later, Anton Strålman backhanded a shot from the front of the net throw a screen, regaining the Coyotes’ two-goal lead.
Seattle wasn’t going down without a fight, though, and the Coyotes would have to kill another penalty as the seconds ticked away. Thankfully, the Coyotes’ penalty kill was solid, and they kept the game at 3-1.
Seattle’s last gasp came late in the final frame on a 3-on-3 that saw Calle Jarnkrok redirect a shot in to cut the Coyotes’ lead back down to one with just over four minutes left. But the Coyotes stayed calm, and with Grubauer on the bench, the Desert Dogs got empty-netters from Alex Galchenyuk and Nick Schmaltz to put the final nails in the coffin.
It wasn’t the most dominant win, but the Coyotes got an early lead and preserved it for the entire game. They didn’t need to come back from a massive hole they dug themselves into, they just maintained their lead. We don’t see many games where the Coyotes have the lead from start to finish, but hopefully, we will get a few more in the second half of the season.
- Karel Vejmelka 34 saves on 36 shots
- Nick Schmaltz - 2 goals
- Yanni Gourde - 2 assists
The Coyotes are back in action on Friday, February 4th, against the Tampa Bay Lightning.