The Arizona Coyotes’ losing streak is over as the Yotes beat the Dallas Stars 3-1. It wasn’t their best effort and required goaltender Scott Wedgewood to come up big in the third period, but the Coyotes walk away with a win, ending their two-game losing streak.
Both teams had a slow start and seemed to be feeling each other out. There were few shots, and neither team really had any momentum.
Unfortunately, early in the third, Andrew Ladd sustained a lower-body injury and left the game after only playing a minute and 13 seconds.
Things started to pick up for the Coyotes halfway through the first, and they drew two penalties. Their first power play had some good puck movement and was a pretty significant improvement of their past few games, but they didn’t convert on either.
Arizona had a few good looks in the first, but it wasn’t their best hockey. And since this is the Coyotes, you would be forgiven for dreading the inevitable second-period collapse.
But, for the second game in a row, the Coyotes played had a good second period.
It took a while, but the Coyotes started to take control of the game as it approached the halfway point. And that momentum finally paid off when Nick Schmaltz fed a wide-open Lawson Crouse, who shot the puck past Jake Oettinger.
Lawson Crouse: Better at scoring goals than drawing ducks. (ifykyk) pic.twitter.com/tySCvDRubG— Arizona Coyotes (@ArizonaCoyotes) February 21, 2022
It was a good goal that came after hard work and shifts, building momentum. And because this is the Coyotes, the Dallas Stars were able to tie it up less than a minute later with a ridiculous pinball goal.
Miro Heiskanen’s shot ricocheted from the stick of Joe Pavelski off Roope Hintz’s skate, only to hit Shayne Gostisbehere’s blade and trickle into the net. It was probably the ultimate bad luck goal, and earlier in the season, it probably would have led to another second-period collapse.
And predictably, the Coyotes took their first penalty of the game just over two and a half minutes later, but surprisingly enough, this was the start of their comeback.
Last night, the Coyotes’ penalty kill gave up two goals, ultimately costing them the game. However, it was a completely different penalty kill tonight, and thanks to some aggressive play, the Coyotes were able to force a tripping call, negating the final 28 seconds of the Stars’ power play.
The Coyotes had a good first power play, and their second had been a dud. But Arizona was doing good on their third, and after winning a faceoff win with 24 seconds left in the man advantage, Shayne Gostisbehere found a wide-open Nick Schmaltz, who fired it on net. His shot went off Heiskanen’s stick and tricked through Oettinger’s legs.
Come for the dish.— Arizona Coyotes (@ArizonaCoyotes) February 21, 2022
Stay for the goal. pic.twitter.com/Aa4VRtdKjZ
The goal came after a Clayton Keller faceoff win, and although he didn’t get an assist, it probably wouldń’t have happened without Lawson Crouse posted in front of the net.
The Coyotes finished the second with a 2-1 lead, but it was a shaky lead at best. They kept up in the first and strung together a few good shifts and a power play in the second, but they weren’t controlling the game’s pace.
The third period started with Scott Wedgewood needing to make massives saves back-to-back in the opening minute. Unfortunately, things did not get easier for the Coyotes’ netminder from there.
The Great Wall of Wedge. pic.twitter.com/d1bjGJ1pQM— Arizona Coyotes (@ArizonaCoyotes) February 21, 2022
Just over five minutes into the third, Galchenyuk took his second penalty of the game, and the Yotes were back on the penalty kill. Surprisingly, they had another excellent kill, and they managed to stay out of the box for the rest of the game after.
The Stars didn’t need power plays because they dominated the final frame. Dallas outshot the Coyotes 17-5 in the third period, and it looked like they may tie it up.
Dallas waited to pull their goaltender until the Coyotes iced the puck with a minute and 47 seconds left in regulation. But with the game on the line, the Coyotes dug deep and played their best hockey of the period.
Arizona did a great job at preventing the Stars from getting set up and came close to getting an empty netter immediately after the faceoff. Stars’ defensemen John Klingberg saved a few goals, including picking up a shot from Lawson Crouse at the goal line.
But the Coyotes would not be denied forever, and who else but Clayton Keller to get the empty-netter with 35 seconds remaining.
It was Keller’s 20th of the season, and it could not have come at a better time. The Coyotes had been outshot all period, and they only really came alive in the final two minutes. It took some stellar play from Scott Wedgewood, but the Coyotes pulled off an impressive rope-a-dope, and walk away with a 3-1 win.
Sunday night done right. pic.twitter.com/AVAwuRYJPI— Arizona Coyotes (@ArizonaCoyotes) February 20, 2022
- Scott Wedgewood - 32 saves on 33 shots
- Nick Schmaltz - Game-winning goal and an assist
- Clayton Keller - Goal and an assist
The Coyotes have a shot at revenge as they host the Los Angeles Kings for a rematch this Wednesday at 8:00 pm Arizona time.