Christian Dvorak’s penalty shot ignites Coyotes rally against Ducks
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.