Break up the ‘Yotes!
If there were any lingering questions regarding the Arizona Coyotes competitiveness (or lack thereof) with the season all but over for the club, those queries were hushed — at least temporarily — as the ‘Yotes earned a 4-3 victory in overtime over the similarly hapless Buffalo Sabres.
Thanks to Sam Gagner’s game-winner, the Coyotes picked up their first pair of back-to-back wins since February 1 and 3.
Below we take a look at the Coyotes’ win, by the numbers.
Oliver Ekman-Larsson’s goal midway through the second period not only tied the game at 2-2, but also marked his 21st goal of the season. Ekman-Larsson is now two goals shy of Phil Housley’s franchise record for goals scored by a defenseman in an NHL season. The goal also makes Ekman-Larsson’s 21 goals scored the most by a Swedish-born defenseman in a single season.
— Dave Vest (@davest4yotes) March 27, 2015
David Moss’ go-ahead goal to pull the ‘Yotes ahead 3-2 in the second period was the third goal scored by Moss in two games. Prior to Arizona’s road trip that started in Detroit this past Tuesday, Moss had only registered one goal this season.
Speaking of goal-scoring from uncommon places, Jordan Szwarz got the Coyotes off on the right foot Thursday, slotting home the game’s first goal at the 7:55 mark in the first period. The goal was Szwarz’s first of the season and only the fourth of his career.
Thursday’s win by the ‘Yotes gave the team its first pair of back-to-back victories since February 1-3, when Arizona won on the road at Montreal and Columbus. Thursday’s win also gave the Coyotes their first pair of back-to-back games of three goals or more dating back to the same period.
Sam Gagner’s 13th goal of the season ended up as the game-winner for the Coyotes Thursday night in Buffalo. The victory was also Arizona’s second consecutive win in overtime (5-4 over Detroit on Tuesday).
The Coyotes now sit five points ahead of Buffalo for the league’s worst record. Why is this important? The team with the worst record increases their chances at landing teenage phenom Connor McDavid in the upcoming NHL draft. McDavid is widely considered a “generational talent” by NHL scouts and front office personnel.