Much of Saturday’s ice hockey contest in Pittsburgh had the Arizona Coyotes playing their usual part — leaving Mike Smith to fend away shot after shot from the opponents, sticking in it for two or so periods and then ultimately falling to a superior team.
And on Saturday, the hosting Pittsburgh Penguins were that team, scoring three third-period goals, after being down 1-0 to Smith’s Coyotes, to win 3-2.
The Penguins riddled Smith with 46 shots on goal Saturday — the second most he’s faced all season.
Things were chippy early, and throughout, with the two teams combining for 47 total penalty minutes, including three majors.
Then, the Coyotes grabbed a 1-0 lead early in the third period on a Tye McGinn deflection of a Klas Dahlbeck slapshot. But the Penguins’ onslaught wouldn’t let up and would finally breakthrough against Smith with 13 minutes to play in the third period. Three goals later, they had the lead in hand, only allowing a late Tobias Rieder goal with Smith out of net late.
Here’s a look at the loss by the numbers:
Shane Doan and Steve Downie squared off with their gloves off with 3:31 to play in the second period after the Coyotes captain put a hard hit on Kris Letang, sending him into the boards. Letang would leave the ice injured after a long period of needing medical attention.
Tobias Rieder’s goal with under two minutes to play was his 13th of the season.
Smith faced 19 third-period shots Saturday, having to ward off 13 in the second period and 14 in the first.
The Coyotes’ 21 penalty minutes yielded the Penguins six power plays in the game. They scored on two of those. Arizona, meanwhile, was 0-for-2 on the power play.
Smith has only faced more shots once this season, when the Chicago Blackhawks put 51 on him. His 43 saves were the most he’s tallied all year.