The Arizona Coyotes have won three straight games for the first time this season, and during the last two games, they have scored 17 goals. The Coyotes are somehow a team that didn’t get their first three-game win streak until March and a team that just had a nine-goal night against the Detroit Red Wings.
It was a crazy night from beginning to end, and it started with a truly heartwarming story. Phil Kessel played thirty seconds to start the game and immediately left to attend the birth of his child. Everyone was aware of the decision and supported Kessel, and it is cool that the Coyotes helped Phil the Thrill keep his streak going while being there for his family.
The Coyotes quickly assuaged any concerns they would be left short-handed without Kessel when Travis Boyd got the Coyotes on the board early. Just over a minute in, Boyd fired home a pass from Nick Schmaltz to make it 1-0 Coyotes.
Boyd got the Coyotes on the board with his 11th of the season, but he also took the game’s first penalty three minutes later. The Red Wings did a great job keeping the zone, and with one second left, Tyler Bertuzzi got the puck over to Robby Fabbri, who fired it home.
Earlier in the season, this could have been the start of another collapse, but not this time. And just over two minutes after the Red Wings tied it up, the Coyotes regained the lead, and they would not lose it for the rest of the game.
Midway through the opening frame, Barrett Hayton brought the puck up from behind the goal line and backhanded it over to Nick Ritchie. Ritchie ducked past his defender and knocked the streaking puck in to make it 2-1 Coyotes.
The play seemed to rile up the Red Wings, and halfway just before the halfway point, Moritz Seider and Christian Fischer got into it and were both assessed roughing minors. Moritz was also given a two-minute minor for elbowing, and the resulting Coyotes’ power play was not good.
Detroit had better chances than the Coyotes on the power play, but the Desert Dogs weren’t fazed. They were playing good enough 5-on-5, and they went back to work.
Not long after the failed power play, Arizona would add one more goal after some extended zone time. Barrett Hayton was battling in front of the net and knocked the stick out of Gustav Lindstrom’s hands in what probably should have been a slashing call. While Lindstrom was retrieving his stick, Hayton fired a pass from Loui Eriksson on net. The puck bounced up and landed in the blue paint, where a diving Jakob Chychrun knocked it into the wide-open cage.
The second period started with a few good looks from the Red Wings, but Karel Vejmelka stood tall and kept them off the board. The Coyotes quickly shut down any hope at a Detroit comeback with a beautiful cross-ice pass from Clayton Keller to Nick Schmaltz, who gave the Coyotes a 4-1 lead.
Come for the pass.— Arizona Coyotes (@ArizonaCoyotes) March 9, 2022
Stay for the Second Star of the Week. ⭐️ pic.twitter.com/46mwrTxzSG
Jeff Blashill had seen enough, and Alex Nedeljkovic was pulled for former-Coyote Thomas Greiss. Unfortunately for the former Coyote, Jakob Chychrun found some open ice and fired a one-timer past him to make it 5-1 less than a minute into his shift.
It would prove to be a lousy night for Thomas Greiss. Less than two minutes after the Chychrun goal, Nick Schmaltz found Janis Moser in front of the net. Moser’s backhand went off the stick of Ritchie on its way to the back of the night, and after giving up two goals on three shots, Greiss was yanked, and Nedeljkovic was sent back out less than four minutes after being pulled.
Everyone has entered the goal scoring group chat. pic.twitter.com/gPmoDi14qc— Arizona Coyotes (@ArizonaCoyotes) March 9, 2022
Like Boyd in the first period, Ritchie would follow up his goal with the Coyotes’ subsequent penalty. Late in the second, Ritchie and Marc Staal would get matching roughing calls, with Ritchie getting an extra two minutes for cross-checking.
The Red Wings would score again on the power play, this time with Jakub Vrana getting a goal in his first game since May 8, 2021. The penalty kill was the only issue with the Coyotes’ game, with both of the Red Wing’s goals coming on the man advantage.
Arizona wasn’t about to let the Red Wings start to mount a comeback. The Coyotes had had a lot of breakaways all game, and late in the second period, Travis Boyd helped spring Clayton Keller. Keller went hard to the net and drew a penalty as Moritz Seider wrapped his stick around him but still managed to get a shot on net.
Nedeljkovic made the first save, but the puck popped down onto the blue pain in a perfect spot for Nick Schmaltz to knock it home for his second goal of the night.
Seven goals?— Arizona Coyotes (@ArizonaCoyotes) March 9, 2022
Seven goals. pic.twitter.com/S4mvjO2PJM
Even with a 7-2 lead, the Coyotes weren’t done yet. Early in the final frame, Christian Fischer picked up a pass from Chychrun, turned, and fired a shot past Nedeljkovic to give the Coyotes their second straight eight-goal game.
one fish, two fish, red fish, goal fish. pic.twitter.com/NiJ7JkTYZ6— Arizona Coyotes (@ArizonaCoyotes) March 9, 2022
The Coyotes kept up the pressure even with a six-goal lead with Schmaltz and Chychrun gunning for a hat-trick. Ritchie was also in the running, but his second goal was still credited to Janis Moser, so nobody knew that at the time.
Schmaltz and Keller found themselves in deep midway through the period, and Keller looked like a man possessed. Whether he wanted to get Schmaltz his hat trick or was still salty from missing that goal late in the second, he was looking good. He dragged the puck out of a defender’s reach and fired, giving the Coyotes a commanding 9-2 lead.
Goal 9 of the night goes to No. 9. pic.twitter.com/m5nCdPmDg8— Arizona Coyotes (@ArizonaCoyotes) March 9, 2022
Ritchie would end up taking one more penalty, a double minor for spearing, and neither Schmaltz, Chychrun, or Ritchie were able to complete their hat tricks. Either way, nobody will be sad with a 9-2 win.
The Coyotes’ chemistry has been so good lately, and it’s clear that they have fully bought into Head Coach André Tourigny’s system. They are doing all the right things, and even if this offensive flurry doesn’t last, the good habits, they are developing hopefully will.
- Nick Schmaltz - 2 goals, 2 assists
- Jakob Chychrun - 2 goals, 1 assist
- Clayton Keller - 1 goals, 2 assists
The Coyotes’ road trip continues on Thursday at 5:00 pm with a match against the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Update: An earlier version of this article incorrectly listed the Coyotes' next opponent as the Tampa Bay Lightning.