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Special teams, late goals hurt Coyotes in loss to Canucks

Vancouver Canucks left wing Daniel Sedin (22) carries the puck in front of Arizona Coyotes defenseman Jason Demers (55) in the first period during an NHL hockey game, Sunday, Feb. 25, 2018, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)

GLENDALE, Ariz. — A pair of third-period goals by the Canucks and a waved-off, would-be Coyotes goal in the first period were Arizona’s downfall in a 3-1 loss to Vancouver on Sunday.

One of the Canucks’ goals was scored shorthanded, another was on the power play and Arizona went 1-for-6 on its own power play. Coyotes coach Rick Tocchet said execution was a problem on special teams and overall.

“I thought we had a lot of chances tonight, we had grade-A chances,” Tocchet said. “We had (42) shots and we missed the net at least 15 times — like point blank shots. We just couldn’t score.”

Tocchet added that bad execution on a pair of plays in the third led to the Canucks’ late goals. He also cited lazy passes and a failure to convert on power plays as reasons for his team’s loss.

Goaltender Darcy Kuemper made his Coyotes debut after coming over in a trade with the Kings earlier in the week. He stopped 24 of the 27 shots he faced.

Just 43 seconds into the Canucks’ (24-31-7) 3-1 win over the Coyotes (18-34-10), Arizona’s Nick Cousins fired a puck into an open net for what would have been the opening goal. But it was waved off, as Brad Richardson was called for goaltender interference on Jacob Markstrom.

“At worst, you call no-goal and then we were going to challenge it, but once you get the penalty we obviously can’t challenge it,” Tocchet said. “I think he made the wrong call giving (Richardson) the penalty. That was a double-whammy for us.”

Richardson told FOX Sports Arizona during the first intermission that it was his first career goaltender interference penalty.

“We obviously talked to (the referee),” Richardson said after the game. “He’s getting the luxury of seeing the replay so I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt on that, it happens quick, but I still don’t like the call. Obviously, we’d like to see a no-goal and then we can challenge but when you call the penalty it kind of screws us over to do anything.”

Richardson said he got pushed into the goalie by an opposing player.

The Canucks went to the power play and eventually scored. The tally was courtesy of Daniel Sedin at 2:16 in the first period and was assisted by Derrick Pouliot and Henrik Sedin.

Through two periods, the score remained 1-0, and the Coyotes led shots on goal at that point, 27-21.

In the third, Arizona tied things up on a rebound goal by Alex Goligoski. It was 1-1 at 9:18 in the third, and marked the Coyotes’ first power play goal in four games.

“We get the one on the power play and we’re fine, it’s 1-1,” Goligoski said. “But they get the [shorthanded goal], that one hurt.”

Indeed, the Canucks did just that. Daniel Sedin deflected in a shot from up high by Brock Boeser at 11:43, but a shorthanded rush led to a Brandon Sutter pass to Darren Archibald, who scored at 14:08 to make it 3-1. Vancouver found itself with a two-goal lead just minutes after Arizona tied it up.

That’s where the score would remain.

“I mean, we put up 40-plus shots,” Richardson said. “But I think some of the chances — (Markstrom) made some good saves — but I think it’s a little bit of ‘bear down.’ I don’t think, collectively, we played our best.”


–Recent call-up Laurent Dauphin, Richard Panik (lower-body) and Luke Schenn were the scratches for Arizona.

–Freddie Hamilton played for the second straight night after making his Coyotes debut on Saturday against the Anaheim Ducks.

–Arizona was 43 percent on faceoffs on Sunday.

–The loss marked defenseman Jakob Chychrun’s 100th NHL game.


The Coyotes have the day off on Monday, the NHL’s trade deadline.

Then, Arizona plays two more consecutive home games before heading out again: a Thursday contest against the Minnesota Wild and a Saturday-night matchup against the Ottawa Senators.

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