GLENDALE, AZ- With a complete sell-out of over 17,000 fans, the Arizona Coyotes took to the ice in their home opener against the Anaheim Ducks. Arizona came into their home opener after losing their first game of the season to the Dallas Stars on Thursday night, 3-0.
So the first thing that I was wondering heading into tonight’s matchup was who was going to score the first goal of the season for the Coyotes? Unfortunately, that question went unanswered as they were shutout tonight by the final score of 1-0.
It wasn’t for the lack of trying on the part of the Coyotes offense as they pounded the puck toward the Ducks Goaltender, John Gibson to the tune of 41 shots. They missed quite a few opportunities with loose pucks in front of Gibson after he failed to control them off the deflections. But the Ducks defense did a great job of being in the right place at the right time, and cleared the puck away from the net before a Coyotes skater could get to it.
Even from the beginning when the first puck was dropped, the Coyotes did a great job with possession in their offensive end, and seemed to stall any type of an offensive rush within seconds by the Ducks.
The lone goal on the night came with just :31 left in the 2nd period as #53 Max Comtois would score on a rush from the left side after receiving a long, unexpected assist by Cam Fowler and Jakob Silfverberg.
The Coyotes played very stagnant at points in the third period as even the crowd began to boo as the ‘Yotes went on a power play with just 2:00 remaining. And with just one minute remaining, they would have a 5-3 advantage, which turned into a 6-3 advantage after pulling Rantaa. Even with all of that, the Coyotes last two minutes should be a lesson in the film room in the coming days as they clearly need to work on attacking the net and showing a sense of urgency.
Even with the loss, there are a few positives to take away from this loss. First, the Coyotes played very well on the defensive end, and in their penalty kill as they are still 100% on the young season in penalty kills. And second, Antti Raanta played very well in the net, stopping the Ducks on multiple breakaways with the exception of the lone goal in the 2nd period.
So I guess my pregame prediction of having Oliver Edman-Larsson as scoring the Coyotes first goal of the season will have to carry over to their next game, which is on the road against these same Anaheim Ducks on Wednesday.