The Arizona Coyotes played the role of spoiler in handing the St.Louis Blues a devastating loss at Gila River Arena in Glendale, AZ.
The Coyotes came out gunning
Luke Schenn scored his first goal of the season at the 14:59 mark with a one-timer shot with helpers from Max Domi and Dylan Strome. The Coyotes kept up the pressure with 12 shots on goal.
The confines of their home rink must have really motivated the Arizona club as they were hitting on all cylinders.
They continued their excellent play in the middle frame when they scored again on a beautiful play when the team's most productive line struck again.
Richard Panik scored from the right side when Clayton Keller fed him a perfect pass as he drove a shot which hit the right post and clanked into the net behind Jake Allen.
That was it for Allen, as he was yanked in favor of Carter Hutton. Too much was at stake for the Blues to fall too far behind. Unfortunately, the wheels began to fall off the cart as the Coyotes scored a total of three goals in the middle period to take commanding 4-0 lead.
The blue line come through
The third Arizona goal came on a bang-bang play involving Panik once again. This time Oliver Ekman-Larsson was the recepient of a deflection pass from Panik allowing him bury a shot from the slot.
The Coyotes weren't done yet, as they scored again this time by Jakob Chychrun celebrating his 20th birthday with a ripper of a shot from the slot which went high over Hutton's glove to make it 4-0 Coyotes.
It can be evaluated that this was the turning point of the game.
The Blues peppered Antti Raanta with 34 shots, but weren't able to get one by him. His play over the past week has been stellar. He moved his record to 20-16-6 and now has three shutouts. He has an excellent 2.27 GAA and a .929 SV%.
In the third period, Alex Goligoski added to the defensemen's assault on the St. Louis net with his 12th goal of the season.
Zac Rinaldo joined the scoring party at the 17:40 mark to give the Coyotes a 6-0 lead. It was only the second time this season they have scored six goals in a game.
To show their scoring parity, six different Coyote players had multiple scoring totals. This included three assists by Domi and Strome each.
They seemed to click on the same line, and it was encouraging to see Strome finally produce to the level they expected of him when they selected him as the third overall pick in 2015.
He now has two goals, seven assists in 18 games this season, including four points in his last five games. Domi has one goal, four assists in his last five games to show he is trying to earn a contract for next season.
Three games remain
The Arizona Coyotes finish off their 2017/18 campaign with the next two games back on the road at Calgary on Tuesday followed by a Thursday engagement against the Vancouver Canucks.
The season finale and fan appreciation night will be on Saturday against the Anaheim Ducks fighting for a playoff spot.
If the Coyotes continue to show opponents they are a vastly improved team since the disastrous beginning of the season, next season should be a whole different result than this year.
With the NHL Entry Draft taking place in June, depending on the Coyotes' finish in the Rasmus Dahlin sweepstakes, they have much to look forward to as far as their potential next season.
The foundation for future success was evident since the calendar turned to 2018. They have a 19-13-6 record or a .579 point percentage.
Young players like Jakob Chychrun, Clayton Keller, Christian Fischer, Christian Dvorak, and Max Domi are coming into their own and should help this team do something they haven't done since the 2011/12 season... MAKE THE PLAYOFFS!