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Christian Dvorak’s penalty shot ignites Coyotes rally against Ducks

Arizona Coyotes' Christian Dvorak (18) gets a hug from Derick Brassard (16) as Nick Schmaltz (8) watches after scoring a goal against the Anaheim Ducks during the second period of an NHL hockey game Thursday, Jan. 28, 2021, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Darryl Webb)

It’s a common theme in hockey that anything can happen after a penalty shot occurs.

That certainly was the case for the Arizona Coyotes against the Anaheim Ducks on Monday, as forward Christian Dvorak buried the team’s opening score off such a shot midway through the game’s second period.

Dvorak’s eighth goal of the season ignited the hometown team, as the Coyotes would go on to score four unanswered goals to win, 4-3.

The win, which came after an opening 20-plus minutes of play that saw the visitors score three consecutive goals to take what looked like a commanding lead.

His penalty shot gave the Coyotes life, with teammates Derick Brassard and Jakob Chychrun adding goals of their own within a three-minute stretch to knot the game at three goals apiece.

Coyotes head coach Rick Tocchet said Dvorak’s penalty shot was a key moment for the team on Monday, helping the team overcome a shaky start to the night.

“[Christian] made two big plays for us. That penalty shot’s big,” Tocchet said. “The moment’s there. Those are precious shots, and then that power play goal. So it was a good, two-goal game for him tonight.”

The Coyotes’ disjointed start on Monday included setting a season-high for penalty minutes in a period, resulting in a power play goal for Max Jones of the Ducks to extend the team’s lead to 2-0 in the opening period of play.

All of that bad news was seemingly wiped away by a single shot by Dvorak, giving the Coyotes life in what appeared to be a dreadful night for the home team.

Dvorak and the Coyotes would add a fourth goal in the third period to seal the team’s 4-3 victory over the Ducks.

The forward said the team’s hard-earned victory was a learning experience for all involved.

“It took us a full 20 minutes, and that’s why we were taking penalties and on the penalty kill pretty much for half a period,” Dvorak said. “So we just need to put our work boots on and get going and wake up, and I think it was a good comeback win for us.”

It all turned on the most exciting play in hockey, the penalty shot.

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