To say things have not gone well for the Arizona Coyotes as of late would be an understatement.
The Desert Dogs have to be looking forward to the All-Star break just to rest and refocus. Losers of six consecutive games, a season-high, the Coyotes are heading toward the bottom of the NHL standings fast after their 6-1 blowout loss to the Chicago Blackhawks on Tuesday.
Chicago scored early and often, potting a pair of goals on 20 shots in the opening period and adding five more the rest of the way. Five different Blackhawks recorded a goal with Andrew Shaw leading the way with two.
On the other side, the Coyotes could not find their game from the drop of the puck, taking an early penalty that resulted in Chicago’s first goal. The game was never in doubt the rest of the way.
Lucas Lessio scored Arizona’s only goal, the first of his young career. It was the lone bright spot in a game full of defensive lapses that resulted in the Blackhawks peppering Mike Smith with 51 shots.
Smith stopped 45-of-51 shots, allowing five or more goals for the eighth time this season. His record is 7-20-3.
The Coyotes are heading into the break with a loss. Here’s how the game looked, by the numbers:
The Coyotes have struggled mightily against teams in the Central Division. Arizona is .500 against the NHL’s other three divisions, but is 1-10-4 against the Central.
Arizona played down two key players on Tuesday. Forward and team-leading goal scorer Mikkel Boedker missed the game after having his spleen removed. Defenseman Zbynek Michalek missed his second consecutive game with an upper-body injury.
Keith Yandle extended his point streak to four games with an assist on Lessio’s goal. He now has exactly one assist in each of his last four games.
While defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson will be heading to Columbus for the All-Star game, the rest of the Coyotes will have seven days between games before facing the Flyers in Philadelphia on Jan. 27.
Chicago captain Jonathan Toews opened the scoring, breaking his 12-game goal drought.
Arizona allowed a whopping 51 shots on goal against the Blackhawks, the most allowed by the Coyotes this season. The former high was 43.
Patrick Kane’s second period goal was his 22nd of the season and 200th of his career. Kane has scored at least 21 goals in each of his eight NHL seasons.