The Arizona Coyotes needed a bounceback game tonight. Last week they lost two key players to season-ending injuries, and they are just two days removed from an embarrassing 5-0 loss to the Anaheim Ducks. But, thankfully, the Coyotes came to play and won the first game of a back-to-back tonight against the Chicago Blackhawks.
Arizona started the game with pressure, but it didn’t take long for the Blackhawks to take control. A minute into the game, Alex DeBrincat picked up a flying puck in the neutral zone and passed it up to Dylan Strome. The former Coyote brought it in and fired the puck on net past Karel Vejmelka to make it 1-0 Chicago.
The rest of the first period was almost all Chicago. A power play twelve minutes into the period helped them sustain pressure, and the opening period ended with the Blackhawks outshooting the Desert Dogs 11-6.
The Coyotes were outworked and outplayed to start the game, and you could tell they weren’t happy about it. But, thankfully, the Coyotes came bounced back and played a solid second period.
It didn’t take too long for the Coyotes to tie things up. It started innocently enough, with the Blackhawks winning a faceoff in the defensive zone and sending it around. Anton Strålman picked up the puck on the board and sent it towards the net, only for Michael Carcone to redirect it past Kevin Lankinen to tie things at 1-1.
top corner + bar down = beauty pic.twitter.com/V8HMrz8tXa— Arizona Coyotes (@ArizonaCoyotes) April 4, 2022
Arizona had the momentum, and they were going to keep pushing. And it didn't take long for them to get the lead.
Shayne Gostisbehere entered the offensive zone a few minutes later and passed it over to Travis Boyd. There were four Chicago players between Boyd and the net, but Boyd waited for the perfect moment, faked a pass, and fired it over Lankinen’s shoulder to give the Desert Dogs their first lead of the night.
Oh Boyd, that was nasty. pic.twitter.com/rlfCBLwvWU— Arizona Coyotes (@ArizonaCoyotes) April 4, 2022
It’s the Coyotes, though, so things weren’t going to be that easy. The Coyotes had started to take control of the game, so, of course, they took a penalty, and Andrew Ladd was sent to the box for tripping.
Arizona killed the penalty and continued to dominate the second period. They got a late power play of their own, but they failed to get the ever-elusive third goal.
After being outshot 11-6 in the first period, the Coyotes bounced back to outshoot the Blackhawks 15-5 in the middle frame. It was a great response that we just haven’t seen enough this season and a great team effort all around, from rookies to veterans.
Unfortunately, the Coyotes couldn’t keep that momentum going into the third period. Both Hudson Fasching and Shayne Gostisbehere taking pucks to the face probably didn't help, although both were able to return to the ice.
Chicago was pushing hard, and less than five minutes in, they got their third power play when Kyle Capobianco was sent to the box for holding Reese Johnson’s stick. Strome was posted in front of Vejmelka when Patrick Kane fired a shot from the point through traffic. There was no way Vejmelka could see the puck, and the score was tied 2-2.
Arizona came close to taking the lead a few times in the third, and Hudson Fasching will probably have nightmares about a missed shot on a wide-open net. But neither team could take the lead, and before long, regulation ended with the score tied at two.
Overtime featured some of the most exciting back-and-forth action seen in a Coyotes game this season. Chicago had the better chances, but both teams came close to ending it all.
Then, with 48 seconds to go until the game went to the shoot-out, Patrick Kane went to the box for high sticking, and the Coyotes were given a late power play. With the seconds ticking away, Shayne Gostisbehere’s pass forward deflected off the skate of Jonathan Toews into the back of the net.
Making the win all the sweeter, the Blackhawks had honored Toews before the puck dropped for playing in his 1,000th career NHL game the week prior.
The Coyotes had another slow start but saw a great bounceback in the second period and proved they aren’t to be taken lightly. The season is wrapping up, but plenty of players will be with the team next year, and they want to show what they can do.
- Shayne Gostisbehere - Game-winning goal and an assist
- Dylan Strome - Goal
- Travis Boyd - Goal
The Coyotes’ road trip continues with a game tomorrow at 5:00 pm Arizona time against the St. Louis Blues.