A late surge by the slumping Arizona Coyotes earned them a point but left them just short of a victory in their former stomping grounds.
Late third-period goals by forwards Lauri Korpikoski and Tobias Rieder rallied the Coyotes from a 3-1 deficit and forced overtime and a shootout against the Winnipeg Jets. But Arizona was were unable to complete the comeback thanks to a shootout goal by forward Bryan Little to lift the Jets to a 4-3 win Sunday at MTS Centre.
It was the fourth consecutive loss for the Coyotes (16-24-5; 37 points), who have six games remaining on their current eight-game road trip. They fell 3-1 at the Minnesota Wild on Saturday.
The Coyotes were the original Winnipeg Jets; they relocated to Arizona before the 1996-97 season. The only active member of that Jets franchise, forward Shane Doan, had a chance to pull the ‘Yotes even in the shootout, but his shot was saved by goalie Ondrej Pavelec to preserve the win for Winnipeg (25-14-8; 58 points).
Here’s a closer look at how the Coyotes’ late rally came up just short, by the numbers:
With the narrow defeat, the Coyotes remain winless on the season when trailing after two periods.
Rieder’s goal was his first point since he tallied an assist in a 4-1 home win over the Jets on Jan. 8 and his first goal since he scored in a 6-3 home win against the Columbus Blue Jackets on Jan. 3.
Doan and defenseman Keith Yandle notched two assists apiece for the Coyotes. Yandle assisted on Korpikoski’s goal with 6:39 remaining in the third period, and Doan assisted on Rieder’s equalizer with 3:50 left in the third.
The loss was the Coyotes’ sixth defeat in their last seven road games. They’ve been outscored 29-9 in those losses. Their only victory in that span came against the lowly Edmonton Oilers, 5-1 on Dec. 23.
Coyotes goalie Mike Smith turned in a quality third-period and overtime effort, but his subpar month rolls on nonetheless: He’s allowed 23 goals in seven January starts. Smith saved 27 of 30 shots Sunday.