Who’s ready for real hockey again? I know I am. The ‘Yotes are back after the All-Star break and were raring to go. The team came out energized and matched up well with the Wild, and they battled back and forth throughout the night. The first period felt tilted towards Arizona and, while they didn’t put one in the net, they pressed Marc-Andre Fleury.
The second period began much the same way, but the scoring started when the Minnesota Wild buried one off the stick of Kirill Kaprizov. However, the Coyotes battled back and hit the post three times in about a span of 90 seconds. They kept the pressure on, and it paid off when they scored a powerplay goal. The powerplay came on a tripping penalty against Ryan Hartman, and the goal was set up by Barrett Hayton. Hayton brought the puck deep into the zone and then dropped it back out high to Chychrun. Chychrun fired a wrister and put it by Fleury to tie it up at 1-1. The stalemate continued until the third period.
Minnesota takes the lead 2-1 on a turnover by Juuso Valimaki as Joel Eriksson Ek sends it off the post but the rebound is put in by Jonas Brodin. This seems to deflate the Coyotes and they start giving up a lot of puck possession to the Wild. Chychrun responds with his second of the night tying the game at two. This reenergizes the Coyotes and the pressure is back on. With less than seven minutes left in the third Jack McBain corrals a poke check in the Arizona zone and takes off, winning the race against the Wild defense. He puts on a small deke and flips the backhand over Fleury’s glove hand, giving the Coyotes the 3-2 lead. The Coyotes stiffen up on defense and pull off the win, taming the Wild in the first game back from the break.
What a way to get the second half started! This team looked poised and ready to compete, here’s hoping they keep it up and come out hot for the second half of the season.
1-0 Wild (3:39)
Kaprizov, assisted by Zuccarello and Addison
1-1 Tie (9:26)
Chychrun, assisted by Hayton and Keller
2-1 Wild (1:40)
Brodin, assisted by Eriksson Ek and Hartman
2-2 Tie (9:35)
Chychrun, assisted by Maccelli and Valimaki
3-2 Coyotes (13:13)
McBain, assisted by Fischer and Nemeth
1st Star: Jakob Chychrun
2nd Star: Jack McBain
3rd Star: Karel Vejmelka
- Vejmelka looked great and kept the Coyotes in the game with multiple tough saves.
- You heard the names of Valimaki and Maccelli a lot, they were consistently around the puck and making plays.
- Chychrun is a clear star, I really think the Coyotes should keep him long-term rather than trade him at the deadline.
- Mats Zuccarello was a pest all night and constantly involved. He set up the first goal. He’s still great in that role at age 35.
- The Coyotes hit the post 3 times in a span of about 90 seconds before finally getting on the board.
- Eriksson Ek showed off his acting skills, selling a high stick that never touched him.
- Shout out to Jean-Sebastien Dea. He was recalled from Tuscon and made his NHL debut in this game.
Friday 2/10: @ Chicago
Saturday 2/11: @ St. Louis
Monday 2/13: @ Nashville