Injuries played a role in the game but yet again the Arizona Coyotes earned a tough road win
The Arizona Coyotes traveled to Ottawa for the second game of their eastern Canada road trip after a 4-2 win in Toronto last Sunday, hoping to continue the winning streak against the Ottawa Senators.
Eventual game first-star Vinnie Hinostroza opened the scoring for the visiting team in the first period with an assist from Richard Panik. The Coyotes sustained numerous attacks from the offense of the Senators, killed some penalties and were rewarded going into the first intermission with the lead.
Injuries continued to play a role for the Coyotes' team
Despite a second period that was completely dominated by Arizona, it was Ottawa that started hot with a goal from Bobby Ryan assisted by Ryan Dzingel to tie the game. That was followed by a lower-body injury to captain Oliver Ekman-Larsson who did not return to the game. His status is unknown at this time.
With the resilience of a team who is looking for a playoff spot, the Coyotes never trailed in the game. Vinnie Hinostroza scored his second of the night, with the goal-ahead goal that barely crossed the goal line and had to be reviewed before confirmation. It was his third tally in two games after going 21 games without a goal.
Hinostroza was not alone with the great display in Canada's capital, as Panik set up the third goal for the Coyotes and his second assist of the game when he fed veteran Derek Stepan extending the lead for Arizona. It was a pretty passing play as Panik drew defenders to him only to dish to a wide open Stepan, who planted his 10th goal of the year.
The third period was time for goalie Darcy Kuemper to shine, making nine of his total 25 saves in the game. Ryan Dzingel's goal cut the lead but it was not enough as Kuemper had his sixth win in his last seven starts.
This was a fan's comment on social media describing the vital road win.
"Great 5 on 5 play, hard back checking in the neutral zone and within 5 feet either side of our own blue line we battled and created attacks.. the boys working hard playing 200 feet... Tocchet has left the lines alone and the last 7 games this is why u work without the puck.. solid defence creates offence.. been that way forever!!!"
50 points near the break... not bad
The win for Rick Tocchet's team takes Arizona to a (23-22-4) record with a total of 50 points in the regular season and just two points away from a playoff spot. This is a much-improved record for the team compared to last season - especially with all the injuries that have had disabling the team along the season.
Next challenge for the desert team is not a long time away as the Coyotes face the Montreal Canadiens in Montréal tonight in their last game before All-Star Game break and also their bye week.
It will be a re-match of Max Domi vs Alex Galchenyuk that made the headlines with a big trade during the offseason and talks of NHL analysts stating who won the deal will continue as the games go on.
Can the Coyotes repeat the last season achievement sweeping all teams of Eastern Canada on the road? Leave your opinion in the comment section below!