After being held scoreless by the St. Louis Blues on Tuesday, the Arizona Coyotes rebounded positively Thursday night.
Taking on the Winnipeg Jets at Gila River Arena, the Coyotes raced out to a three-goal lead through the first two periods of the matchup.
Winnipeg failed to get the puck past goaltender Mike Smith until roughly seven minutes into the final period. Arizona added a score just over two minutes later and held on to win 4-1, pushing its record to 16-20-4 and continuing its improved play of late.
Winnipeg fell to 20-14-7 on the season but remained tied with Los Angeles for the seventh-best record in the Western Conference.
Here’s a look at Thursday’s game in Glendale, by the numbers:
The Coyotes were fantastic on the penalty kill Thursday. They came in with the worst penalty kill percentage in the NHL, but they held Winnipeg scoreless on all seven opportunities at Gila River Arena. Meanwhile, Arizona did pretty well for itself when boasting a man advantage, as the team’s first three goals all came on power plays. The Coyotes finished 3-for-5 with a man advantage in the win.
Captain Shane Doan put forth his second three-point game of the season, scoring a power-play goal in the second period an assisting on both of the Coyotes’ first-period tallies. Arizona is now 4-1-0 when the veteran right wing posts two or more points in a game this year.
If you can overlook a pair of recent 6-0 drubbings, the Coyotes have played pretty darn well of late. Thursday’s win was the team’s fifth in the last seven games. Four of the victories in this recent slate have come at home, and the club now boasts 9-9-3 record when playing at Gila River Arena this year.
The Coyotes forced eight Jets giveaways Thursday while only losing the puck once themselves. Arizona had five takeaways, while Winnipeg had one. The visitors actually won the hits battle, though, by a 49-41 margin.
Mikkel Boedker and Oliver Ekman-Larsson are both sitting at 11 goals on the season after Thursday’s win. They are now tied with each other for the team lead. Boedker scored in the first and third periods against Winnipeg, while Ekman-Larsson connected on a wristshot in the first. Like Doan, Boedker also had a three-point game against Winnipeg, as the left wing picked up an assist on Ekman-Larsson’s tally.
Center Antoine Vermette took the team lead in points as he recorded assists on both of Boedker’s goals in the win. He now has 27 points on the year — one more than defenseman Keith Yandle, who was scoreless in Thursday’s game.
Smith had one of his better games of the season, making 34 saves out of 35 shots against him. He went almost 47 minutes on the ice before giving up the Jets’ lone goal Thursday. The 32-year-old goaltender just missed out on what would have been his first shutout of the year, but it was the fourth time he allowed just one goal to an opponent. The nine-year veteran’s record improved to 7-16-2 with his performance against the Jets.
Arizona ended a five-game losing streak to the Jets with the victory. Prior to Thursday, the last time the Coyotes beat Winnipeg was on Oct. 15, 2011. The two teams did not face each other during the shortened 2012-13 campaign, and Winnipeg won all three meetings last season.