Coyotes open preseason with 5-4 shootout win at home


The Arizona Coyotes began their 2014 preseason with a come-from-behind-then-come-from-ahead shootout victory against the LA Kings at Gila River Arena.

The Coyotes were led by huge performances from the top line of Martin Hanzal, Max Domi and Henrik Samuelsson; all three notched a point on each of the Coyotes’ first three goals. They were easily the best looking line all night long- as a group, they combined for nine total points on the night.

“I put that line on paper a long time ago in the Summer,” Head Coach Tippet said.

Not only did Domi and Samuelsson excel during play itself, though, they also sealed the victory in the shootout.

“I was pretty nervous and I almost toe picked on the way down but I got lucky and it went in so I’ll take it,” Domi said, regarding his shootout goal.

“Its not hard to play with those two guys,” Domi Said “We had fun out there”

Samuelsson led off the scoring seven minutes in, when he found a loose puck in front and back handed a beauty top-shelf past Kings goalie Jean-Francois Berube. The Coyotes couldn’t hold the lead for long, though, as the Kings scored two goals in a three and a half minute span off the sticks of Tanner Pearson and Nic Dowd. Both came after defensive miscues by the Coyotes. That kept the score 3-1 after one.

Sep 22, 2014; Glendale, AZ, USA; Arizona Coyotes center Martin Hanzal (11) celebrates with center Max Domi (16) and center Henrik Samuelsson (15) after scoring a goal in the second period against the Los Angeles Kings at Gila River Arena. Mandatory Credit: Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

The Coyotes didn’t dwell on a lackluster first period, they played a terrific second period. They dominated puck possession while taking advantage of a lot of power play time, including two power play goals from Martin Hanzal.

Despite the success of the Coyotes’ top line on Monday, though, Coach Tippett didn’t commit to them sticking together. “We will see,” Tippett said. “Samuelsson has great hands and can be a shooter and Domi is a great passer”

The Coyotes also got help from newcomer Sam Gagner; he netted a goal in his first game as a Coyote on a deflection.

“He [Gagner] was pretty good on the power play,” Head Coach Dave Tippett said. “He is only 25 but he has been in the league a long time so those guys know how to ramp it up in camp.”

“Its not hard to play with those two guys,” Domi Said “We had fun out there”

The Coyotes couldn’t hold the lead in the third period, as Mike Richards netted a tying goal with less than seven minutes remaining in regulation. This continues a trend from last season, which saw the Coyotes finish 28th in league with a win percentage 0f .697 when leading after two.

The overtime period was mostly uneventful, with the Coyotes getting the better chances in order to set up a shootout. The Coyotes, of course, called on Samuelsson and Domi, who both converted to give the Coyotes the win.

“I saw an opening and managed to squeak one in,” Samuelsson said

Doggy Biscuits:

Coach Tippett mentioned playing OEL on the right side for some of the preseason, and that they were trying things in terms of defensive pairings.

With Smith and Dubnyk starting and playing full games on Monday, Tippett expects the younger guys to get more time in goal.

Tippett gave credit to the play of Tyler Gaudet. He praised his hockey awareness as a “conscientious player”, only saying he needs to work on his face-offs.