Despite a one-man show by veteran Antoine Vermette Sunday night at Rogers Arena, the Phoenix Coyotes ended their brief three-game road trip through western Canada much the same way they began it: with a loss.
Kevin Bieksa’s rebound goal lifted the Vancouver Canucks to a 5-4 win over the Coyotes in overtime, as they held on to their eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference.
Here’s a closer look at the loss by the numbers:
For the second time this season, Antoine Vermette notched a hat track for the Coyotes. Unlike the previous occasion (Dec. 21, 2013), Phoenix couldn’t make the most of the effort.
Vermette now leads the team with 18 goals.
Arguably the most impressive aspect of Vermette’s hat trick is that he managed to score even-strength, on the power play and short-handed.
Vermette astonishingly has tallied three short-handed goals in his last four games.
After notching his first shutout of the season against Vancouver back on Jan. 16, Coyotes goaltender Mike Smith has reverted back to old form, allowing on average 3.4 goals in his last five starts.
Following Sunday night’s loss, Phoenix has just six games remaining until the Olympic break. Of those six games, five will be played at Jobing.com Arena, starting Tuesday night against rival Los Angeles.
With a regulation win Sunday, the Coyotes would have pulled even with the Canucks for the second Wild Card spot out West. Instead, Phoenix trails Vancouver by three points with one game in hand.
Bieksa’s game-winning goal handed the Coyotes their 10th overtime loss in 2013-14. It’s the most any Pacific Division team has fallen in this season and tied for the third-most in the NHL.
With his trifecta of goals in Vancouver, Vermette became the 18th player in franchise history to record two hat tricks in the same season. Teemu Selanne holds the franchise record for most in a season, as he had five back in 1992-93.
After going a season-high four games without a point, captain Shane Doan responded on the team’s recent three-game swing. Sunday’s game-tying goal in the third period gave the 17-year veteran three points in his last three contests.
Center Mike Ribeiro did pick up his team-leading 37th point Sunday night on an assist, but he remains just one goal shy of No. 200.