Arizona Coyotes complete comeback by capitalizing on Mullett Arena crowd

Dec 28, 2023, 6:22 PM

Jack McBain #22 of the Arizona Coyotes celebrates with Jason Zucker #16 and Sean Durzi #50 after sc...

Jack McBain #22 of the Arizona Coyotes celebrates with Jason Zucker #16 and Sean Durzi #50 after scoring the game-winning goal against the Colorado Avalanche during the NHL game at Mullett Arena on December 27, 2023 in Tempe, Arizona. The Coyotes defeated the Avalanche 5-4 in overtime. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Coming off the Coyotes’ 5-4 overtime victory over the Colorado Avalanche on Wednesday night in which Arizona scored five unanswered goals, general manager Bill Armstrong noted the implications of that win and the culture shift the Coyotes have seen the last two seasons while playing at Mullett Arena.

“That was probably the greatest crowd we’ve seen at Mullett,” Armstrong told Arizona Sports’ Burns & Gambo on Thursday. “Confidence comes from a source. We’ll always look back on that game as that source. We’re gonna use that all year long.”

The Coyotes overcame a three-goal deficit for the second consecutive home game. Arizona also trailed Ottawa 3-0 in the first period on Dec. 19 before scoring four consecutive goals to win 4-3.

With the recent two comeback victories at Mullett, the Coyotes became the first team with consecutive home comeback wins of three or more goals since the Florida Panthers did so in 2021.

Armstrong credited the home crowd as the catalyst for the comeback.

“But the momentum shift in that building with our fans and the players played off that energy and you could just feel it turning,” Armstrong said.

The Coyotes are 12-5 at Mullett this season and posted a 21-15-5 record there last season, a sharp contrast from going 11-27-3 at home in 2021-22 at Gila River Arena in Glendale.

Before digging themselves out of trouble, the Coyotes found themselves in a 4-0 hole in the second period after a power-play goal from Nathan MacKinnon.

“I’m pissed because I know we can play against them and we’re not playing against them,” Armstrong said. “We didn’t play bad but there’s that element of that second effort and that compete that we were just missing and we were playing pretty good in the first period but second we just didn’t have that compete and they turned it up on us and it was a little bit disappointing.”

Lawson Crouse scored late in the second period to make it 4-1. Michael Kesselring, Jason Zucker and Sean Durzi all scored for Arizona in the third period before Jack McBain netted the winner with 20 seconds left in overtime.

“I just wanted our team to play with that grit and that second effort and eventually every shift once it got to be 4-0 we just kept building off it,” Armstrong said. “Every shift getting better and you can just feel it in the building.”

The Coyotes travel to Anaheim to face the Ducks at 8 p.m. on Friday on 92.3 and the Arizona Sports app. 

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