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Coyotes Game 35 Recap: Coyotes drop their last game of 2022

The Arizona Coyotes started strong, but couldn't beat the Tampa Bay Lightning

Arizona Coyotes v Tampa Bay Lightning Photo by Mark LoMoglio/NHLI via Getty Images

Game Recap

The Arizona Coyotes dropped their last game of 2022, falling 5-3 to the Tampa Bay Lightning. It was a tough matchup that saw the Coyotes take an early lead, only to see the game slip away as it progressed.

The Coyotes tend to be successful when they catch their opponents by surprise. Yesterday afternoon they managed to do that with Travis Boyd getting the Yotes on the board just over six minutes in with his fourth of the season.

The goal required a fair amount of luck, with the puck pinballing off Andrei Vasilevskiy’s glove and Zach Bogosian into the net. It wasn’t how he would have planned it, but Boyd got the goal by putting the puck on net, and Keller notched his 21st assist thanks to a solid move to get the puck to Boyd.

Then, in a pleasant change of pace, the Coyotes kept up the pressure after scoring. Only 34 seconds after getting on the board, Christian Fischer picked up a loose puck in the crease and fired it into a wide-open net to give the Coyotes a 2-0 lead less than seven minutes in.

Arizona had an opportunity to make the Lightning really pay soon after when they went to the power play for the first time, but they failed to solve Vasilevskiy on their lone power play of the game. Instead, the Lightning built off that successful kill, and midway through the opening frame Brayden Point scored his 21st of the season, and the Lightning were back within one.

After retaking control in the first, the second period started with a big push by the Lightning to tie things up. The Coyotes held on for as long as they could, but midway through the period, Mikhail Sergachev tied things up with his sixth of the season from Point and Victor Hedman.

Coyotes’ head coach André Tourigny challenged the goal for offsides, but the goal was upheld because Point didn’t touch the puck before his teammate touched up. Tampa Bay was awarded a power play, and Steven Stamkos scored, giving the Lightning their first lead.

But the Coyotes responded well to going down, and a minute and a half later, they retied the game. Nick Bjugstad scored his ninth of the season 5-on-5, with Lawson Crouse getting the only assist, and the Coyotes were back in it.

Bjugstad has been a force 5-on-5, and with a one-year, $900,000 contract, he has been a steal for the Desert Dogs.

Unfortunately, the Yotes couldn’t finish the period strong. Shayne Gostisbehere misplayed the puck on the Lightning’s blue line, and Alex Killorn was off on a breakaway. He scored, and with just over a minute left in the period, the Lightning were up again.

Things started to get a little chippy early in the third period. Josh Brown boarded Nick Perbix, and Pat Maroon went over to stand up for his teammate. The fight wasn’t the best, but it did enough to pump up the Lightning, who scored their second power play goal on the resulting 5-on-4.

Arizona looked like they may have cut the Lightning’s lead in half with a Christian Fischer goal later in the period, but the Lightning successfully challenged it for offsides. However, the Coyotes couldn’t close the gap, and the game ended with Tampa Bay up 5-3.

There were a few positives in yesterday’s game. They responded well after goals, both theirs and the Lightning, and didn’t take too many penalties. It wasn’t a great game, but it was respectable for a road game against one of the best teams in the East.

Lines

Three Stars

  1. Brayden Point - Goal and two assists
  2. Victor Hedman - Three assists
  3. Nick Bjugstad - Goal

Next Game

The Arizona Coyotes will stay on the road and face off against the Florida Panthers this Tuesday at 5:00 pm.