The Arizona Coyotes didn’t have much chance going into last night’s game. They weren’t the most skilled team, and injuries have decimated them as the season has gone on. So it should come as no surprise that the Desert Dogs fell 5-1 to the Vancouver Canucks last night.
Special teams were a significant factor in last night’s game. The Canucks were able to get on the board just over three minutes into the game thanks to a power play goal from Alex Chiasson, his eighth goal of the season. Arizona did have a chance to even things up when they got their first power play just under five minutes in, but the Canucks killed the penalty, and play resumed.
The first period ended with the Coyotes down 1-0, but the game was far from over. The Yotes were playing decent, and if they could avoid the second-period collapse, they were still in this.
Unfortunately, in the opening minute of the middle frame, Bo Horvat doubled the Canuck’s lead with a wraparound goal that went through Harri Säteri’s legs. It was a goal that Säteri should have stopped, and the Canucks weren’t done there.
It didn’t take long for the Canucks to get back on the board. Thirty-eight seconds after his first of the game, Horvat stole the puck in the defensive zone, and the Canucks headed into the Coyotes’ zone. Horvat, Conor Garland, and Vasily Podkolzin passed the puck perfectly, and Horvat was able to find some ice and score his 30th of the season.
The Coyotes may have been down by three, but they weren’t out yet. And who else but Nick Schmaltz would get the Coyotes on the board for the first time. Travis Boyd forced a turnover at the Vancouver blue line and got it over to a streaking Nick Schmaltz, who cut the Canuck’s lead down to two.
22nd of the season was a beauty. pic.twitter.com/JeNLWtBEe1— Arizona Coyotes (@ArizonaCoyotes) April 8, 2022
The Coyotes had been playing better, and the Schmaltz goal seemed like it could be the start of a comeback. It looked like the Coyotes were able to cut the Canuck’s lead back to one a little later when Nick Ritchie fired a shot past Jaroslav Halak, but Vancouver successfully challenged the goal after it was determined that Ritchie was offside before the goal.
That was probably it for any Coyotes’ comeback. The Canucks used the called-off goal as a wake-up call and finally woke up.
Vancouver added another goal midway through the period when the Coyotes left for a poorly timed line change. Arizona didn’t get the puck deep enough, and Elias Pettersson and Alex Chiasson came in on a perfectly played 2-on-0. Unfortunately, there wasn’t much Säteri could do with that one, and the Canucks had regained their three-goal lead.
Arizona had another shot at a power play goal, but Halak stood tall and preserved the lead. The middle frame would eventually expire, and the Canucks were up 4-1.
With 20 minutes left to play, it didn’t take long for the Canucks to finish this one. Jan Jeník was called for high sticking, and on the resulting power play, Alex Chiasson redirected an Oliver Ekman-Larsson shot from the point to make it 5-1.
Arizona did have another power play, but they couldn’t find the back of the net. Vancouver was two for two on their power play, but the Coyotes couldn’t do anything on their three opportunities.
It wasn’t a great debut for goaltender Säteri, but he doesn’t deserve all of the blame. He should have stopped the first Bo Horvat goal, but there wasn’t much he could do for the others. Säteri hasn’t had much time to practice with the Coyotes, and he will improve as he gets in more reps with his new team.
The game could have ended very differently if the Ritchie goal had counted. But unfortunately, the Coyotes weren’t able to keep that pressure while the Canucks dug deep to keep the Desert Dogs off the scoresheet.
- Bo Horvat - 2 goals and an assist
- Alex Chiasson - 2 goals and an assist
- Elias Pettersson - Goal and two assists
The Coyotes will be headed to Vegas this weekend as they play the Golden Knights Saturday at 7:00 pm Arizona time.