The Arizona Coyotes played a brand of hockey which their Head Coach Dave Tippett has been looking for all season. It didn't hurt that they came against a struggling team like themselves to accomplish two points in the standings.
The Colorado Avalanche have been falling swiftly of late, losing four of their last five games. To make things worse, they are dead last in goal production, with just 24 in their 12 games this season. They won the last showdown with Arizona back on October 30th by a 3-2 score.
First period good signs
The conditions for a Coyotes' win were ripe. They came out much more competitively in the first period. They managed 11 shots on goal, while giving up as many against Louis Domingue. The first goal was scored quickly by Jordan Martinook when he came in on the left wing, and let a poor angle shot go on Calvin Pickard, who did not cover the inside of the post. Sneaky shot, but they all count. Martinook's tally was assisted by Radim Vrbata and Jamie McGinn at the 0:28 mark.
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Martinook has been playing center to fill in for injured Martin Hanzal and had McGinn and Vrbata as linemates this game. The "Triple D" line of Christian Dvorak, Max Domi, and Anthony Duclair seemed to get the Coyotes offense moving again. The initial period saw the Yotes with a 1-0 lead.
Second period letdown/comeback
The Coyotes got into penalty trouble early as Martinook took a tripping call at 0:26, and the Av's converted it into a tying powerplay goal just 12 seconds later, scored by Rene Bourque. The Colorado crew wasn't quite done and took the lead 2-1 at 6:09 when Nate MacKinnon scored his second goal of the campaign.
All of a sudden that momentum the Coyotes felt in the first period was disappearing.
As has been the tradition this season with so many rookies in the Arizona lineup, the next goal was scored by Anthony DeAngelo for his first NHL score. He was assisted beautifully by a charging Domi, who circled behind the net drawing the defense, while he saw an open DeAngelo near the right faceoff circle.
The pass was crisp, and the shot was perfect. DeAngelo, who was filling in for an injured Michael Stone had scored the tying goal at 16:15. This goal got the Coyotes' engine running again.
Domi, just 1:11 later then put the dagger in the Av's hopes as he scored his first goal of the 2016-17 season on a fluke of a shot, which seemed to float into the net. It fooled Pickard, and the Desert Dogs regained the lead 3-2. The Avalanche also were assessed with a slashing call at the 20:00-minute mark by Mikko Rantanen.
The period ended with Arizona out in front 3-2 and going on the power play when play resumed in the third period.
Third period finish
The Coyotes used that power play advantage to again get a goal from the hot Jordan Martinook. Vrbata and Domi led a rush with Martinook and Vrbata on a two-on-one, and the pass to Martinook allowed him to shoot into the wide-open side of the net, giving the Coyotes a 4-2 lead.
The lead held up, as for once the Arizona group played some excellent defense preventing the Av's from any concept of catching up in this game.
Martinook deservedly won the first star of the game award, with two goals. Domi got the second star, with a breakout game giving him a goal and two assists. The third star went to DeAngelo who's cool, calm play earned him his first NHL goal, while playing 20:35 in the game.
Head Coach Tippett liked what he saw
In Tippett's postgame press conference he commended his team for their effort. He thought DeAngelo played well, and Martinook is "a great utility player for us."