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Coyotes Game 77 Recap: Coyotes steal a point, fall 4-3 in overtime

The Arizona Coyotes snapped a seven-game pointless streak, but still fell 4-3 to the Chicago Blackhawks in overtime.

Chicago Blackhawks v Arizona Coyotes Photo by Norm Hall/NHLI via Getty Images

Game Recap

The Arizona Coyotes walk away with a point, but their losing streak continues as they fall 4-3 to the Chicago Blackhawks in overtime. It was a surprisingly close game that required the Coyotes to overcome a two-goal deficit in the third period.

Things started on the wrong foot for the Coyotes. Nick Ritchie was a late scratch, and the team eventually announced that he was day-to-day with an upper-body injury. Ritchie is one of the Coyotes’ few goalscorers, and the Coyotes can not afford to score fewer goals.

Unfortunately, the Coyotes didn’t do themselves to start the game. Chicago took the lead 42 seconds into the game when Jake McCabe picked up a rebound and fired it past Karel Vejmelka. Karel Vejmelka had made the initial save, but nobody picked up McCabe, and it was 1-0 Chicago.

That was just the start of a dominant first period for the Blackhawks. Arizona gave up an early goal and then took two penalties in the first half of the opening frame, and Chicago was capitalizing.

Arizona finally got their first power play midway through the period, but they couldn’t do much with it. Chicago had the best look of the Yotes’ power play as they continued to build momentum.

Arizona went down another man when Jay Beagle had to be helped to the back while favoring his leg. He did not return and was limited to 4 minutes and 10 seconds of ice time.

Not long after a very successful penalty kill, the Blackhawks were back on the board. It was another goal off a rebound; this time, Dominik Kubalik went hard to the net and hit a rebound past Vejmelka.

After giving up two goals in the first, you could feel a sense of dread as the puck was dropped for the second period. The Coyotes have struggled in the middle frame all season, and it has only gotten worse as injuries have stacked up. ou

Those fears were for naught as Arizona avoided the collapse and kept pace with the Blackhawks.

Arizona finally got on the board midway through the period with a rebound of their own. Kevin Lankinen was stretched out on the ice when Nick Schmaltz went for the wraparound. Lankinen was able to keep the puck out on the initial shot, but Barrett Hayton picked up the rebound and put it home.

The Coyotes looked like they were turning things around, and they managed to string together a few good shifts against the Blackhawks. But, unfortunately, luck wasn’t on their side, and late in the period, Alex Vlasic’s shot bounced off Schmaltz’s skate past Vejmelka, giving the Blackhawks a 3-1 lead.

Tensions started to flair, and Michael Carcone and Sam Lafferty dropped the gloves with just over a minute left in the period. However, things were stacking up for an interesting third period.

Arizona bent but didn’t break to start the final frame. The Coyotes had to kill another penalty, this time Galchenyuk getting sent to the box for two minutes for boarding.

Arizona killed that penalty, much to the frustration of Patrick Kane, and the Desert Dogs continued to build momentum. They got within one midway through the period, with Nathan Smith getting his first NHL goal.

Kessel set the puck towards the net, and Smith was waiting on the doorstep to hit it home.

The Coyotes getting within one ensured that this one would get physical. Twelve minutes into the period, there was some pushing and shoving after the whistle, and Jack McBain and Alec Regula were both sent to the box for roughing.

Arizona took control in the 4-on-4 and tied things up with Anton Strålman getting his sixth of the season from Kessel and Schmaltz.

Both goaltenders came up big for the rest of regulation, and the score remained 3-3. As you would expect, 3-on-3 overtime favored the Blackhawks, considering the Coyotes were without two of their overtime goal scorers.

Vejmelka continued to make some big saves, but eventually, he let one in. Then, Alex DeBrincat got his 40th of the season with a rebound, another goal that Vejmelka had no chance to stop.

The Coyotes had clawed their way back from a two-goal deficit, but they couldn’t go that extra step to get the second point. As a result, they remain last in the NHL, just one point behind the Montréal Canadiens.

Lines

Three Stars

  1. Alex DeBrincat - Goal and an assist
  2. Nick Schmaltz - Two assists
  3. Nathan Smith - First career goal

Next Game

The Coyotes will be back in action on Friday as they host the Washington Capitals at 7:30 pm.