Hard as they try, the Arizona Coyotes can’t seem to escape losing.
That was evident Thursday night in Glendale as coach Dave Tippett’s team took on the visiting Chicago Blackhawks.
Though grabbing an early advantage thanks to Tobias Rieder’s 11th goal of the season, the Coyotes found themselves on the receiving end of an onslaught of Chicago shots throughout the game. And the penalty problems didn’t help.
Arizona gave the Blackhawks a pair of power plays every period, ultimately surrendering two man-advantage goals to the visitors, who nearly tripled the amount of Coyotes’ shots on goal.
Both John Moore and Kyle Chipchura served four minutes in the penalty box Thursday, while goaltender Mike Smith, who finished with 43 saves, also cost his team some penalty time when he was called for roughing Kris Versteeg in the first period.
Though pummeled by shots throughout the contest, the Coyotes found life late, getting three shots on goal in the final 90 seconds and earning a power play with 38.5 seconds on the clock.
But it was to no avail, as Tippett’s squad dropped their 23rd game of 2015.
Here’s a look at the loss by the numbers:
The Coyotes managed to get six shots on goal every period, finishing with 18. The Blackhawks, on the other hand, put 45 on Smith, getting two by him.
Rieder, a 22-year-old rookie, got his 11th goal of the season Thursday, counting for sixth on the team, though averaging less ice time than all of the teammates who have outscored him this season.
Chipchura, Moore, Smith and the Coyotes didn’t do themselves any favors Thursday, spending 14 minutes in the penalty box, spread out over six power play opportunities for the Blackhawks. The Coyotes squandered their only two power play opportunities.
Arizona has dropped 15 of their last 17 contests and they still have the third-fewest points of all NHL teams, with 50. Only Buffalo has more losses (42) and a worse point differential (-99) than the Coyotes’ 39 and (-77).
The Coyotes outhit the Blackhawks, 34-18, Thursday.
Chicago managed to win 37 of the game’s 56 faceoffs.