Two different realities met in Gila River Arena and it was really a shock what we saw on the ice
Despite the whole situation with their own roster and it's pending stars UFA from Russia Artemi Panarin and Sergei Bobrovsky, the Columbus Blue Jackets remains as a contender in the Eastern Conference.
The Arizona Coyotes, desperate to keep their playoffs hopes after losing four games straight were finally back home after back-to-back road trips. But the home-ice advantage was never there to be seen.
Home fans had a feel of what was about to happen when they witnessed Lukas Sedlak score the first goal of the game. He picked up his own rebound just three minutes into the game setting the momentum for the Blue Jackets.
As the period continued and the Coyotes failed to clear their own zone and put the puck to the net, Columbus would again this time with David Savard giving the Eastern team a two-goal lead into the intermission.
A glance of Coyotes in the second period
Rick Tocchet’s team came to the second period with much more offensive attitude. It was a clear example of the much spoken slogan "Coyotes hockey way" which gave dividends to the team as they cut the lead in half with a nice goal by defenseman Jordan Oesterle.
A come back was starting to get set when one of the newest fan favorites, the rookie Conor Garland scored a beautiful goal to tie the game and also to tie the leaders in goal scoring with his 11th of the season.
Missing some of their greatest penalty killers such as Brad Richardson and Michael Grabner, the Coyotes couldn't prevent a nice power-play goal by Josh Anderson who scored bredirecting a shot from All-star defenseman Seth Jones.
A bad defensive play in the third period by Darcy Kuemper would leave space for Boone Jenner scoring a goal from a sharp angle and basically killing all possibilities of another result.
"We've had a lot of what-ifs the last bunch of games and we've got to figure out a way to get some wins here," Coyotes coach Rick Tocchet said. "The last few games, [in] losing, we could have made that play to win but the other team is making that play."
"We tied it up and were playing well. I don't want to talk about first 10 minutes," Tocchet said. "But they scored the power-play goal and that was the difference. We had the momentum."
"It's kind of been the story of the last five games. There are certain parts of the game where we aren't mentally prepared. The start killed us tonight, and that's the consequences of not being ready." -- Coyotes defenseman Jordan Oesterle.
For the Coyotes a struggling special unit both on PP and PK needs to be addressed before next Saturday’s game against the Dallas Stars on the famous Kachina days in Gila River Arena.
The team might lose one more player to injury as a recent call-up from Tucson Roadrunners and teams leading point scorer in the AHL Kyle Capobianco left the game in pain and did not return to play.
For the Columbus Blue Jackets, they remain in the desert to meet the Vegas Golden Knights also on Saturday.
Can the Coyotes get some revenge against the Dallas Stars from their Monday game and change their recent fortunes on Saturday? Comment in the section below!