The loss of Clayton Keller for the rest of the season was always going to be a big hurdle for the Arizona Coyotes. Keller is one of the Coyotes’ best players, and his absence was felt in the team’s 5-0 loss to the Anaheim Ducks.
A lack of Keller wasn’t the reason the Coyotes struggled last night. Anaheim was able to take an early, with Isac Lundestrom, Gerry Mayhew, and Trevor Zegras all lighting the lamp in the first ten minutes.
Arizona has had to rely on its goaltenders throughout the season. Karel Vejmelka has won a few games for the Desert Dogs, but he seemed off in his seventh-straight start.
The goals from Lundestrom and Mayhew were relatively soft, and Karel Vejmelka was definitely kicking himself after allowing them. Trevor Zegras pulled off another lacrosse-style goal, and coach Tourigny mercifully pulled Vejmelka.
Josef Kořenář was in net for the rest of the game, but the Coyotes were in a deep hole.
The second period started with some 4-on-4 action with Dominik Simon and Nick Richie both in the box for roughing calls. Like a lot of lopsided games, things were going to get physical.
The second period saw a flurry of penalties that started with Phil Kessel headed to the box for slashing. Eight seconds later, Sonny Milano was sent off for high-sticking, and we got more 4-on-4 action.
Anaheim took advantage of the 4-on-4, and Cam Fowler notched his eighth of the season when he fired the shot past Kořenář on a 3-on-1.
Any chance of a comeback was cut short when Kyle Capobianco took a high-sticking minor on the next faceoff. The Ducks didn’t score on the 4-on-3, but the game had slipped away.
The tensions boiled over in the third period. First, Lundestrom got his team back on the board with his second of the night to give the Ducks a 5-0 lead. Anaheim had dropped their last 11 games, but they weren’t playing like it last night.
Midway through the final frame, we got our first official fight of the game, with Michael Carcone dropping the gloves against Sam Carrick. Carrick was assessed an extra minor for roughing, and the Coyotes got their first power play of the game, not that it would make much of a difference.
That was just a precursory to another dustup. Jay Beagle took exception to a Trevor Zegras extra tap after the whistle and gave him a cross-check into the blue paint. Cam Fowler didn’t like the hit, and pushing and shoving ensued. Somehow, Troy Terry ended up paired with Jay Beagle, who handed it to the Ducks’ top scorer.
The final result was Beagle getting penalties for cross-checking, fighting, and being given a game misconduct. Kessel was furious on the bench and was assessed a misconduct penalty. Troy Terry had the lone Anaheim penalty, having been given two minutes for roughing.
It was one to forget for the Desert Dogs. They fell behind early and couldn’t make up the ground. With so many injuries to key players, the Coyotes will need someone to step up in a way that they didn’t last night.
- Isac Lundestrom - 2 goals, 1 assist
- Cam Fowler - 1 goal, 1 assist
- Trevor Zegras - 1 goal
The Coyotes are back on the road, and they will play the Chicago Blackhawks on Sunday at 4:00 pm Arizona time.