After losing to both the St. Louis Blues and the Dallas Stars I think everyone was thinking the Arizona Coyotes were moving towards yet another missed playoff season. However after the Coyotes took on the Tampa Bay Lightning at home on Saturday night things changed.
The Coyotes did not play a perfect game against the Tampa Bay Lightning, but they did play one of their best all season. The Coyotes beat one of the top teams in the league in the Tampa Bay Lightning. Tampa is 8-2 in their last 10 games now, one of their two losses was against our very own ‘Yotes.
The Lightning are the second best team in the league right now, and trail the Boston Bruins by just five points for the league lead. Tampa is a very deep team, and we shut them down. I know it was just one game, and that we still have to win a lot of games to make the playoffs, but last night’s game showed the Coyotes resilience.
It did not matter that early on in the game Anthony Cirelli opened the scoring for the Tampa Bay Lightning. We could have rolled over and let Tampa obliterate us, but that did not happen. Conor Garland and Clayton Keller scored goals in back to back fashion in under two minutes, then all of a sudden a 1-0 deficit after one period turned into a 2-1 lead.
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Our resilience was shown again when the Lightning answered to tie things up at three in the second period. Brad Richardson scored to take the lead back with just under 10 minutes to go in the second period, and then we shut down the lightning in the third.
This was a team win all around. We had great goaltending from Antti Raanta, we had Conor Garland and Clayton Keller each score two goals, and the game featured two power play tallies for the Coyotes.
This game was a perfect way to set up the trade deadline on Monday. Now we won’t be thinking about a bad loss before the NHL has to lock in their rosters for the year. Now Coyotes GM John Chayka can hopefully sit quietly and let the Coyotes play things out without trading away any pieces.
Thanks to Saturday’s win the Coyotes now find themselves with 70 points. While that is not the best point total in the league, they are just four points behind the Vegas Golden Knights for the division lead with 74.