Darcy Kuemper's efforts weren't enough to prevent another loss for his team
The year started with yet another loss for the Arizona Coyotes who are now (17-21-3). Looking to bounce back and with the news that Nick Schmaltz would be out for longer than expected, head coach Rick Tocchet decided to go with Darcy Kuemper in net.
The game started in a magical fashion for the New Jersey Devils who scored just one minute into the first period when Nico Hischier shot was ruled as a goal after the net was dislodged by Clayton Keller.
A rising star in the desert recently, Conor Garland tied the game for the home team, scoring the third NHL goal of his career with a nice move that beat goaltender Keith Kinkaid who had just come into the game to back up Mackenzie Blackwood who was injured.
The second period was much better for the home team when Christian Fischer gave his team what would be the lead in an odd-man rush. Kuemper got the lone assist on the goal and was really consistent in his game but was unable to prevent what was about to happen.
Controversial goal called back
The Devils had a controversial goal called back after one of the referees blow the whistle in theory before the puck would have crossed the line, but a few minutes later Blake Coleman eventually broke through into Kuemper's net and tied the game going into the third period.
The visiting team survived a huge penalty kill moments after staying shorthanded for six minutes during the last period of regulation and maintaining the score with a 2-2 tie that sent the game to an entertaining 3-on-3 overtime.
This turned out to be the deciding factor in a game the Coyotes had every opportunity to win. It's not that often that you get a four-minute power play followed one minute later by a two-minute power play... and NOT score.
The nature of the open ice in an overtime saw both teams having excellent chances of finishing the game with a spectacular highlight heel move by Oliver Ekman-Larsson whose shot nearly crossed the line.
In the shootout, the Devils had the better outcome converting both chances with Kyle Palmieri and Drew Stafford helping the Devils take the two points back to New Jersey. The struggling Coyotes have to regroup for a Sunday a matchup against the also struggling New York Rangers.
This one should be interesting.
"I thought guys worked hard," Head Coach Rick Tocchet said. "Other than a few mistakes here and there, and our power play not coming through for us, I thought guys gave an effort ... They've worked hard the last two games, I don't care what anybody says. They've tried."
"When we were healthy we were playing well," Tocchet said. "Obviously this rash of injuries (arrives) and then all of a sudden people get played in different positions and stuff like that ... Five or six regulars being out, I hate to keep saying it, but you could tell tonight. We worked hard. You can tell the skill level wasn't there sometimes, so we're just grinding away."
Can Arizona Coyotes bounce back win the final game of their homestand against the New York Rangers? Comment in the section below!