The Arizona Coyotes had a fairly easy week this week with only 3 games, 2 at home and 1 away. The teams they faced however, weren’t as easy. The Coyotes started off on an away game in Chicago to take on the Blackhawks. The game went progressively slow as the first two periods were scoreless. Both goaltenders, Corey Crawford and Scott Wedgewood stood tall, but the Blackhawks struck first with a goal coming from Tommy Wingels. Some time would pass until the Coyotes answered back with a goal from Anthony Duclair, but the Hawks would come right back with a goal from Artem Anisimov and another from Nick Schmaltz to conclude the game 3-1 Blackhawks. The Coyotes would return home for a match against the league’s best team the Tampa Bay Lightning.
Seeing these two teams in the standings, many believed this game to be a blow-out victory for the Lightning, and those many would be correct. The game was not close by any margin. Even head coach, Rick Tocchet said that the team “looked really tired and unprepared.” With 3 goals coming from the Lightning from Vladislav Namestnikov, Brayden Point, and Nikita Kucherov, the Lightning had a commanding 3-0 lead over the Yotes until a powerplay goal from Clayton Keller finally put them on the board, but that was all the Coyotes could manage. Tyler Johnson would score for the Lightning to make it a 4-1 victory for Tampa Bay. Despite it being heavily favored to begin with, the Lightning still continue to prove of being the league’s best as they sit atop on the standings with 50 points and a 24-6-2 record. The Coyotes are currently sitting at a 7-23-5 record. The next game would be another home matchup against another tough team, the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Taking on the defending Stanley Cup Champions, the game went through a scoreless first period. The start of the second period, the flood gates really opened for the Pens as Carter Rowney and Evgeni Malkin tallied two goals to make it a 2-0 lead. The Coyotes would get a goal from Nick Cousins late in the period to make it a 2-1 game. Midway through the 3rd period, Coyotes’ Max Domi, pounce on a loose puck to tie the game at 2, but again early and late goals are continuing to kill the Coyotes as Penguins’ Olli Maatta scored with 15 seconds left to make it a 3-2 game and Sidney Crosby would put home the empty netter to make a 4-2 Penguins victory. The Coyotes looked much more alive in this game and stayed with the Pens for a good chunk of this game. They just can’t seem to play a full 60 minutes, and that’ something the Coyotes really need to work on.
The next game will be at home against the Florida Panthers.
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