Coyotes drop home opener after 2nd-period barrage by the Blues
GLENDALE — The Arizona Coyotes got out to a fast start in their home opener, but the St. Louis Blues broke the game open in the second period to put it out of reach in a 7-4 loss for Arizona.
Clayton Keller put in yet another goal against his hometown team and Lawson Crouse added one to put the Coyotes in front 2-1 in the second period.
From there, St. Louis would score five straight goals, including a power play shot by Justin Faulk and two goals apiece by Jordan Kyrou and Klim Kostin in a span of 5:07.
“When they scored the second goal, right away after, I don’t know if it was emotional or we got out of our game but we had a four of five shift intervals where we fell apart mentally,” Arizona head coach Andre Tourigny said after the game.
Keller found the net first with a power play goal on a rebound off a shot from Phil Kessel. It was seventh goal against his hometown team.
“It was great to see our power play get rolling like that,” Tourigny said.
Blues free agent addition Pavel Buchnevich would respond with a goal as a result of a 2-on-1 break with Kyrou.
Later, he would be ejected for headbutting Crouse with 1:07 left in the first.
Crouse was also penalized on the play for cross checking, but the exchange eventually led to a three-minute power play for Arizona after two minutes of 4-on-4.
Although they weren’t able to capitalize on the man advantage, Crouse stuffed one in from in front of the net on a feed from Kessel underneath the goal line. Shayne Gostisbehere also picked up an assist on the play.
It was good to see Crouse find the back of the net for the first time this year after it took him 21 games before scoring his first goal last season.
After the Crouse goal, the Blues went on a scoring barrage.
Faulk sniped one home on a power play with 8:50 left in the second to tie it up.
Kyrou would add another goal for St. Louis 1:37 later and then Kostin scored two in a row from the same spot on the ice 47 seconds apart to make it 5-2.
Kyrou finished off the sequence 50 seconds later by skating around the Coyotes defense and finishing high on goalie Carter Hutton.
Tourigny pulled Hutton after the goal, replacing him with Karel Vejmelka.
“Four, five minutes we collapsed and left him by himself,” Tourigny said of Hutton. “That’s not on Hut, that’s on everybody. It’s part of the team and we need to have a better brotherhood than that.”
The Coyotes were not finished, though.
Third period goals by Christian Fischer and Ilya Lyubushkin made it a 6-4 game and turned the momentum in favor of the Coyotes.
That would be all the Coyotes could muster as Ivan Barbashev finally sneaked one past Vejmelka with 7:35 remaining to make it 7-4.
While that finished the scoring, it did not finish the game.
Defenseman Jakob Chychrun took a 10-minute game misconduct and two minor penalties with three seconds left after picking up and dropping Jake Neighbours to the ice.
The Coyotes continue a homestand against the Edmonton Oilers at 7:00 p.m. on Thursday and the New York Islanders at 6:00 p.m. on Saturday.
Both games can be heard on ESPN 620 AM & 98.7 FM HD-2.