You could almost call it a comeback. Almost.
The injury-depleted Arizona Coyotes faced off against the playoff-contending St. Louis Blues tonight at Gila River. The first 40 minutes seemed far too familiar with defensive breakdowns and a lack of offense. The one bright spot was that recently signed college player Nathan Smith scored his second NHL goal of the season. Unfortunately, the defensive breakdowns meant that the Blues were up by three on goaltender Harri Säteri.
It wasn’t unexpected after all; the Coyotes are missing most of their core players like Jakob Chychrun, Clayton Keller, Lawson Crouse, Christian Fischer, and the recently acquired but excellently performing Nick Ritchie.
What surprised everyone, especially the St. Louis Blues, was that the Coyotes scored three unanswered goals in the third period. They tied the game and forced overtime. It all started with the first NHL goal of Bokondji Imama, whose parents and sisters were in town to watch his second game.
What a special moment for Boko Imama and his family pic.twitter.com/Q6cFqcIUXU— PHNX Coyotes (@PHNX_Coyotes) April 24, 2022
Roadrunner call-up Michael Carcone kept the momentum going with the Coyotes’ third goal of the evening, scoring only 44 seconds later.
Then J.J. Moser tied the game 4-4 with less than five minutes left. Miraculously, the Coyotes and Säteri were able to lock it down and not allow the Blues to score in those final minutes. But, sadly, Justin Faulk decided to ruin the comeback when he scored 30 seconds into overtime.
To make matters worse, the one point that Coyotes earned has tied their points with the Montréal Canadiens, which puts the Coyotes in 31st and the Canadiens in 32nd. So now we all need to route for the Canadiens to get a point before the season ends, so the Coyotes get the best draft lottery odds. The draft lottery is scheduled for May 10th.
1. Bokondji Imama – Started the comeback with his first NHL goal
2. Nathan Smith – got the Coyotes on the board
3. J.J. Moser – forced overtime with the 4th goal of the night
The Coyotes get a few days of rest before taking on the Wild on Tuesday in Minnesota at 5:00 pm.