The Arizona Coyotes faced the San Jose Sharks last night for the second game of a back-to-back and fell for the second straight game. And with the trade deadline today, it may be the last time some play for the Desert Dogs.
Unfortunately, the Coyotes started off on the wrong foot. Twenty seconds into the game, a puck bounced off the glass and took a weird hope to the front of the net. Nick Bonino was able to get the puck past Karel Vejmelka, and the score was 1-0 San Jose.
Things quieted down after the early goal. Both teams had power plays in the first period, but neither could put it home, and the score remained 1-0 Sharks. However, the Coyotes kept things close at least, which was an improvement compared to recent outings where they spent the entire game in their own zone, unable to record shots on goal.
Neither team did much in the second either, although the Sharks got another power play when Vladislav Kolyachonok was called for cross-checking and sent to the box.
The Desert Dogs killed that penalty, and the Coyotes started to build some momentum. Then, with two minutes left, Lawson Crouse found Phil Kessel on a 2-on-2, who redirected the puck into a wide-open net past James Reimer to tie the game 1-1.
The second period ended with the score tied, and the Coyotes were in a good position to make the Sharks pay. Both teams looked evenly matched, although the Sharks did have a slight advantage.
The Coyotes broke the tie first with just five minutes left in regulation. The Yotes were on a power play and were doing a good job moving the puck around. Then, with less than a minute left, Kessel found Lawson Crouse on the side of the net. Crouse couldn’t get his shot off, but that didn’t matter as the puck slowly bounced off Reimer and into the back of the net to make it 2-1 Coyotes.
"and I oop" -Lawson Crouse, probably pic.twitter.com/94cDnvrMu5— Arizona Coyotes (@ArizonaCoyotes) March 21, 2022
With just five minutes left and a one-goal lead, you would think this would be all Coyotes. But, unfortunately, 22 seconds later, Timo Meier tied things up with his 26th of the season. Things went from bad to worse 44 seconds later when Noah Gregor got his fourth of the season to give the Sharks a 3-2 lead.
The Coyotes couldn’t do anything with the extra attacker. With 50 seconds remaining, Rudolfs Balcers hit the empty net to make it 4-2 San Jose.
It was a rough outcome for the Coyotes, who suffered another third-period collapse. After the game was finished, word spread that Scott Wedgewood had been sent to the Dallas Stars for a conditional fourth-round pick. The trade deadline began in earnest.
Last night is probably the last time we will see Phil Kessel in a Coyotes uniform unless he comes back to play in an alumni game. Kessel’s time with the Desert Dogs has been a roller coaster, but it was nice to see him rewarded with a goal and an assist in his final game after a slow season.
- Noah Gregor - Goal and an assist
- Phil Kessel - Goal and an assist
- Lawson Crouse - Goal and an assist
The Coyotes are back in action tomorrow as they take on the Seattle Kraken at home at 7:00 pm Arizona time.