If NHL games were only 40 minutes long, the Coyotes would be 2-0 and everyone would be praising their quick start. Instead, two blown leads find the Coyotes 0-1-1.
“That’s something we’re going to have to learn, to close games down,” defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson said. “But at the same time, we didn’t play good enough to win.”
Last season, the Arizona Coyotes were 19-0-4 when leading after two periods.
The Coyotes opened their season Thursday in Anaheim and held a 4-1 lead after Christian Fischer deflected a Brendan Perlini shot for a power-play goal with 6:10 remaining in the second period. The Ducks then scored four unanswered goals in regulation to defeat the Coyotes 5-4.
(Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports)
”It’s a learning lesson. It’s a tough one, because that’s a game we should have had.” Head coach Rick Tocchet said after the game.
Saturday night in their home-opener against Vegas, Arizona nursed a 1-0 lead until the Golden Knights pulled their goalie and scored with 1:12 left in regulation. Vegas went on to win in overtime.
Veteran Defense Making Mistakes
In the Anaheim game, the young, inexperienced forwards played well. Clayton Keller scored his first career NHL goal. Rookie Christian Fischer, along with Max Domi and Anthony Duclair also scored. The problem was their veteran defenders.
Turnovers by the Coyotes defense led directly to every single Ducks goal in that game.
Niklas Hjalmarsson’s errant pass was intercepted by Rickard Rakell, who quickly sent it over to Corey Perry. Hjalmarsson then took himself out of the play, merely waving his stick at Perry, as he cut to the middle and scored Anaheim’s first goal.