The Arizona Coyotes’ 2014-15 season can be adequately summed up in these two Vines.
Yes, despite a 34-save performance by Mike Smith, the Arizona Coyotes fell 3-1 at home Saturday to the Pittsburgh Penguins thanks in part to Smith’s unforced error.
The loss was the Coyotes’ 17th in their last 18 games, while the Penguins boosted their playoff positioning in the Eastern Conference.
Smith’s unfortunate deflection came in the second period with the Coyotes (21-43-8; 50 points) nursing a 1-0 lead via a shorthanded goal by Tobias Rieder just 1:34 into the game. The goal was Rieder’s 12th of the season.
But the Penguins answered on the (officially) unassisted goal by Brandon Sutter during a Pittsburgh power play in the second period.
The Pens (40-22-10; 90 points) took the lead less than four minutes later on a goal by former Coyote Daniel Winnik. Sidney Crosby, who assisted on that goal, added an empty-netter with 12 seconds to play.
Here’s how the Coyotes fell yet again, by the numbers.
The Coyotes earned a shorthanded goal but failed to convert on their own power plays, going 0-for-3 with a man advantage for the evening.
Rieder’s goal was his fourth during the month of March. It was his first goal since the Coyotes’ 2-1 loss to the Chicago Blackhawks on March 12.
The Penguins recorded a ridiculous 22 shots on goal in the second period after getting only three shots on net in the first 20 minutes. Pittsburgh outshot Arizona 37-31 for the game.
Crosby’s empty-net goal was his 24th of the season.
Pens goalie Marc-Andre Fleury outdueled Smith by saving 30 of the 31 shots he faced.