Coyotes still winless after Blackhawks net late goal
GLENDALE, Ariz. — From when the game started to when it ended, the story didn’t change: The Arizona Coyotes (0-7-1) are still the NHL’s only winless team.
In fact, the game-by-game story seems to keep repeating itself, too: The Coyotes scored first, gave up a goal shortly after, and went on to lose. This time, it was to the Chicago Blackhawks, 4-2.
“It’s like a broken record,” head coach Rick Tocchet said. “We’re playing competitive. All the analytics stuff and people that are in that stuff say it’s going good, but obviously we’re not winning.”
It doesn’t seem to be for lack of effort, since the Coyotes have been “in” all but a couple of games this season and have, by their own accounts, been competitive.
“All week, they’ve done a great job,” Tocchet said. “I felt bad for them because I thought they had a great effort tonight. It’s another goal with four minutes left that sinks us.”
The first forty minutes of the game featured a pair of goals in each period, one by each team. In the first, Christian Fischer created a weird bounce that squeaked past Corey Crawford, making it 1-0 Coyotes at 7:47.
But as they’ve often done all season, the Coyotes scored first (for the sixth time in eight games) and then gave up a goal shortly thereafter.
Just 27 seconds after the Fischer goal, Richard Panik poked a loose puck past Louis Domingue, a chance generated on a shot from Jonathan Toews. The goal, at 8:14, made it 1-1.
It’s a wonder the first-period scoring wasn’t more abundant than that: In the first 20 minutes, the Blackhawks and Coyotes combined for six penalties, five of which were called within a span of two minutes and eight seconds.
In the second, a bounce out to Patrick Kane allowed the Chicago superstar to go off-and-running on a breakaway. He shot it past Domingue, five-hole, making it 2-1 Hawks at 11:32 in the middle period.
— NHL (@NHL) October 22, 2017
But when Tommy Wingels was hooked on a breakaway, the Blackhawks had a chance to double their lead on a penalty shot.
The puck got past Domingue, but he got a piece of it first; It was a ruled a shot on a second attempt, and the goal was waved off after review.
It wasn’t long after that when Clayton Keller scored his sixth of the season on a rebound at 18:14.
At second intermission, it was 2-2.
The score stayed tied for most of the third, until a late goal by Lance Bouma on a pass in front made it 3-2 Blackhawks with 4:24 left to play.
An empty-netter from Wingels (this one counted) sealed the deal, and the Blackhawks picked up their fifth win of the season.
–Keller scored his sixth goal of the year, which leads NHL rookies. It also puts him tied for fourth in the league overall in goals.
–Saturday was Domingue’s first game in net since he allowed six goals to the Boston Bruins a week ago. He looked better this time around, even though the box score might not show it, he said.
“The stats weren’t there, obviously,” Domingue said. “No ‘W,’ the save percentage is off, the goals against is pretty bad when you look at it, but a lot of positives. It’s the type of game that I needed to get back on my feet.”
Domingue made 28 saves. His counterpart, Crawford, made 28.
–The Coyotes were 53 percent in faceoffs.
–The Coyotes went 0-for-5 on the power play.
–Arizona had 13 giveaways, compared to Chicago’s four.
HE SAID IT
“Maybe we can find a way here when we go on the road. Maybe it’s a good time for us to get together a little bit more as a team and go on a long road trip.” -Coyotes defenseman Niklas Hjalmarsson
–Brad Richardson (lower-body) returned to the Coyotes lineup for the first time since Oct. 14 vs. Boston. He missed just two games, both against the Dallas Stars. Lawson Crouse was a healthy scratch.
The Coyotes now embark on a lengthy East Coast road trip in which they’ll play five games in eight days.
First up is New York, where Arizona will face the Islanders on Tuesday and the Rangers on Thursday. In the second of those two games, Derek Stepan and possibly Antti Raanta (lower-body) will face their old team for the first time since the offseason trade.
Then, next Saturday, the Coyotes will go across the river to New Jersey to face the Devils.
Stops in Philadelphia and Detroit on back-to-back nights will finish the trip, as well as the October slate of games for the ‘Yotes.
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