Arizona Coyotes: On a roll with third straight win
Arizona Coyotes' rookie forward Clayton Keller celebrates his goal vs Montreal. (Photo Ross D. Franklin/AP)

Arizona Coyotes: On a roll with third straight win

Could the Arizona Coyotes continue their uplifting play against one of the best goalies in the NHL?

bgguy626
William Grigsby

Collecting nine points in their last five games and winning three games in a row, has renewed confidence in the Arizona Coyotes.

They faced the Montreal Canadiens and Carey Price in this game.

Taking the lead

They took the lead in the first period when rookie sensation Clayton Keller burned a shot past Carey Price after an excellent feed from Oliver Ekman-Larsson

For Keller, it was his 17th goal of the season, and more importantly his eighth on the power play. The youngster had just whistled a shot off the pipe prior to popping the net to get the Desert Dogs started.

Antti Raanta's save of the year

 

As Nikita Scherbak received a perfect pass to one-time a shot, Antti Raanta who was out of position came across the crease like a cat to reject the shot. That certainly boosted his team and may have been his best save all season. It also stymied the Montreal power play... significantly.

The second period belonged to Brendan Perlini

Brendan Perlini is a pure scorer and a streaky scorer at that. He led off the second period (usually the worst for the Coyotes) with two goals in just 19 seconds. He used his excellent speed on the second goal to break in alone on Price, who had no chance of stopping the shot.

"I have scored on the same shift before but I don't know that I have ever scored within 19 seconds," Perlini said.

The problem in the past with the Coyotes obtaining an early lead was they were unable to maintain it. Perlini's two goals took place within 1:16 of the period, and could the Coyotes hold on?

They managed to get through the second stanza unscathed but outshot by a 25-15 margin.

Third-period action

The Montreal Canadiens came storming back to get into the game by scoring two goals in 1:52, which got Raanta hot and he went to the bench to let his teammates know he wasn't pleased with their play.

Head coach Rick Tocchet mentioned that he loved that Raanta fired up his team.

Perhaps this team needs more of that and usually, the team captain steps in and jaws at his team to step it up... except the Coyotes have no captain.

The veteran presence is starting to mold this young team and that can only amount to good things down the road.

So, with the Montreal team smelling that they had the wounded Coyotes on the run, it was time for Arizona to push to get back those two quick goals.

Rieder to the rescue

The power play provided just that as Tobias Rieder (who had been in a terrible scoring drought) came through with a beautiful one-timer courtesy of Keller's on-the-stick pass. 

Rieder made no mistake about it, and a two-goal lead was the result. 

Icing on the cake

The scoring was not completed yet, as the Coyotes' confidence was oozing and Josh Archibald was just the forward to provide some more pain for the Canadiens' plight.

He broke into the Montreal zone down his off-wing and flung a backhander that got through Price's armpit area and into the net. It was Archibald's fourth goal of the season. His energy and clutch goals are certainly an asset to his team.

Final thoughts

As the Coyotes seem to have learned from mistakes they were making earlier in the season, and are now playing Tocchet's system, the results are affirming that they can indeed win games... if they stay disciplined.

Clayton Keller wound up with four points in this game, giving fans a glimpse of things to come. This kid can really take over a game, and he displayed that ability very well in this game.

Oliver Ekman-Larsson may have put trade rumors to bed as he collected three assists and really stepped up his level of play.

Tobias Rieder had a goal and an assist to show he is starting to gear up his play. 

All of these ingredients spell... WINS.

Something the NEW Arizona Coyotes could get quite accustomed to... if they continue playing this way.

 

 

 

 

 

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