The Arizona Coyotes seemed better prepared at the start of Wednesday night’s game against the Anaheim Ducks, but it only lasted for about 25 minutes. That is, until…
The Arizona Coyotes played more like the disciplined bunch they’ve been in the offensive zone and were just inches away from scoring a pair of goals in the first period. Conor Garland poked the puck too far ahead of himself on a near breakaway, and Nick Schmaltz whiffed on a pass from Phil Kessel that set “Schmaltzie” up perfectly. No luck there!
The Anaheim Ducks had fewer shots on goal but led 1 to 0 at the end of the first period when Max Comtois scored off a rebound with 12 seconds remaining in the period. With his back to the Coyotes’ goal, Comtois cleverly shot the puck backwards through his legs, beating Jakob Chychrun in the process.
After a faceoff win at 7:58 of the second period, Josh Mahura scored the Ducks’ second goal on the Ducks’ 11th shot. The Yotes were penalized for the third consecutive game for having too many men on the ice. It was evident that the Coyotes weren’t winning many faceoffs at this juncture and, as a result, didn’t possess the puck very much.
At 14:21, Nik Hjalmarsson was penalized for tripping behind the Coyotes’ net, and at 15:46 the Ducks Max Jones scored on the ensuing power play.
At 10:05 of the third period, when many Coyotes’ fans may have already turned their TVs off, the Coyotes really came alive and Tyler Pitlick scored a goal on a redirected shot taken by Oliver Ekman-Larsson, cutting the Anaheim lead to 3 to 1. Incredibly, just one minute and 44 seconds later, Jakob Chychrun took a shot that deflected off Ducks’ defender Jani Hakanpaa’s skate, past goalkeeper Ryan Miller, and into the net. At 16:29 Phil Kessel scored from a smoking pinpoint pass from Conor Garland. Three goals in ten minutes of the third period meant one thing – overtime!
The OT period ended without a game-winning goal, and the main reason for that was the cat-like reflexes of Yotes’ goalkeeper Adin Hill. At 2:28 into the OT period, the Ducks’ Isac Lundestrom received a perfect pass from Sonny Milano on his left side and crushed a first-timer, but Hill slid over from his right to the left post and snagged the screamer right out of the air!
The Coyotes were able to beat Ryan Miller twice in the shootout to snatch the ever-valuable second point. For the second consecutive game, the Yotes were able to stay the course against a determined and outwardly-confident Ducks team that had three-goal leads on the road each night.
The Coyotes and their joyous fans can certainly enjoy the moment, but it can’t last forever because the Colorado Avalanche, who have lost two in a row and lost at home to the Minnesota Wild on Wednesday night 6 to 2, will be in town on Friday and Saturday nights. They won’t be in the best of moods. Let’s go Coyotes!