Arizona Coyotes' late push is too little, too late in loss to Anaheim Ducks

Jenna Ortiz
Arizona Republic
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Even with a late push in the third period, there wasn’t enough firepower for the Arizona Coyotes to overcome the damage done by the Anaheim Ducks.  

The Coyotes (15-28-5) had an uneventful start through two periods at Mullett Arena on Tuesday, leading to a 5-2 loss. The first period didn’t see many quality scoring chances from either team. An early push from the Ducks in the second period created a hole for the Coyotes when the Ducks went up 3-0. 

Coyotes goaltender Connor Ingram couldn’t do much when Frank Vatrano slapped Troy Terry’s pass up high for the 1-0 lead near the end of the first period. Following Vatrano’s goal, the Ducks were energized and scored four consecutive goals before Barrett Hayton broke the shutout in the third period. 

“I liked the no quit in the end,” Coyotes head coach Andre Tourigny said. “I did not like the start, a little bit sloppy on our assignment defensively. They’re a skilled team, a young team, and they took advantage of that.” 

The loss marked the seventh loss to a team in the bottom of the standings for the Coyotes. Arizona has lost 12 of its last 14 games.

The Coyotes will finish the homestand before the All-Star break on Thursday against the St. Louis Blues. 

Arizona Coyotes goaltender Connor Ingram (39) makes a save on a shot by Anaheim Ducks center Trevor Zegras (11) as Coyotes defensemen J.J. Moser (90) and Josh Brown (3) and Ducks right wing Troy Terry (19) watch the puck during the second period of an NHL hockey game in Tempe, Ariz., Tuesday, Jan. 24, 2023. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

Midway blues 

Following a slow start from both teams in the first period, the second period was a chance for either team to control the pace. The Coyotes were marred by several roadblocks including a five-minute major and game misconduct on defenseman Juuso Valimaki after he was called for slashing on Ducks left wing Max Jones at 3:34. 

While Valimaki’s penalty was pending, the Ducks sent the extra attacker and Terry snuck through a tight corner against Ingram for a 2-0 lead. The five-minute man advantage wore down the Coyotes and added another goal for the Ducks when Cam Fowler scored from the point 45 seconds into the power play. 

The Coyotes were outshot 14-0 by the Ducks through the first 10 minutes of the period and had a smattering of chances. 

Late push 

A few key chances in the final stretch gave momentum to the Coyotes. Hayton went heavy on the forecheck against Ducks defenseman Simon Benoit, eventually reading Benoit’s pass and turning it into the Coyotes’ first goal at 10:44 in the third. 

A slashing call on Trevor Zegas at 13:23 earned a power play for the Coyotes. Jakob Chychrun continued his relentless pursuits at the point and even broke his stick on a hard shot that was returned into the net by Nick Schmaltz to cut the lead by two goals at 14:34. 

The Coyotes then gambled with the momentum and pulled Ingram to add the extra attacker, but Ducks right winger Jakob Silfverberg got on the rush with the puck and his shot was rebounded in by Adam Henrique for an empty net goal at 16:39. 

“I liked the way we arrived in the third and put pucks on the net and a lot of bodies on the net,” Tourigny said. “We played with a lot of passion.” 

Tinkering the lineup 

Still going with 11 forwards, the Coyotes called up left wing Milos Kelemen for his NHL debut and had him on the fourth line with Zack Kassian. 

“It was an amazing feeling. I was very excited when I was called up and was a little bit nervous before the game,” Kelemen said. “I felt good with Kass, he helped me a lot on the bench, so I feel good.”  

Kelemen played 10:04 minutes, including 1:36 on the penalty kill, and tallied three hits. 

The move sent Michael Carcone down to the Tucson Roadrunners, while Jack McBain played on the second line with Nick Bjugstad and Dylan Guenther. 

Reach the reporter at [email protected] or 602-647-4122. Follow her on Twitter @jennarortiz

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