One of the Coyotes' first games of the season was a matchup against the Washington Capitals that they lost 2-0. Tonight at the end of the season the two teams met again, this time with the Coyotes dealing with some significant injuries, and the Coyotes again fell 2-0.
The first period was what we’ve come to expect towards the end of the season. The Yotes were good, but not great. They were outshot but they weren’t completely outplayed.
Washington eventually got on the board midway through the period with a goal from Conor Sheary. The Coyotes had just finished successfully killing a penalty, but it is hard to keep the Washington Capitals off the board.
Arizona entered the dreaded second period down 1-0 and it briefly looked like a collapse was imminent. Kyle Capobianco was called for interference just eight seconds into the second period and the Yotes went to the penalty kill. Thankfully, they killed the two-minute minor, and they seemed to get a bit of momentum from the kill.
The Coyotes definitely didn’t rebound in the second period, but they kept pace. They had a few odd-man rushes early out, but they couldn’t solve Capitals’ netminder Vitek Vaneck. Granted, they weren’t putting a lot of rubber on him, but he stopped everything the Coyotes had.
Washington did come close to taking a 2-0 lead in the second period, but the goal was immediately called off because Garnet Hathaway’s stick was above the crossbar. Considering he hit the puck over the top of the net. Per NHL rule 80.3
“When an attacking player causes the puck to enter the opponent’s goal by contacting the puck above the height of the crossbar, either directly or deflected off any player or official, the goal shall not be allowed”
The second period ended with the Desert Dogs being outshot 20-11, but they were still down by one with plenty of hockey left to play.
Unfortunately, the Coyotes couldn’t do much with their time. Having to kill two more Washington power plays certainly didn’t help, although the Coyotes were holding their own.
The Coyotes did get close a few times, but as the saying goes, close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades.
The seconds ticked away and eventually, the Coyotes pulled goaltender Karel Vejmelka. John Carlson got the empty net worth less than a minute left, and that was all she wrote.
The Coyotes managed to avoid getting blown out, but they are really feeling the lack of offensive weapons. They don’t have much time to dwell on it though, they will be back in action tomorrow.
- Conor Sheary - Game-winning goal
- Vitek Vanecek - 19 saves on 19 shots
- Karel Vejmelka - 27 saves on 28 shots
The Coyotes are back in action tomorrow night when they face off against the St. Louis Blues at 7:00 pm.