Skip to Main Content
The Official Site of the Arizona Coyotes

The Wrap: Coyotes Extend Road Win Streak with Raanta in Relief

Arizona opens seven-game road trip with a 3-2 win in Colorado

by Alex Kinkopf @AEKinkopf / Arizona Coyotes
Final Score: Coyotes 3, Avalanche 2
Record: 12-10-3
Standings: 5th-place, West Division

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

The Coyotes lost their starting goalie Monday night with 17:39 remaining in a tie game.

They did not flounder at that critical juncture.

Arizona persevered to beat the Colorado Avalanche 3-2 at Ball Arena, extending its road win streak to five games.

Thrust into action in a 2-2 third period tie, Antti Raanta turned a cold entrance into an incredible performance -- stopping all 16 shots faced in relief of injured Darcy Kuemper. The Coyotes supported Raanta's cause with a go-ahead (and eventual game-winning) goal.

There is no set routine -- just instinct -- when taking the reins mid-game, Raanta said.

"You just tie your glove, put your mask on, jump on the ice and skate to the net," said Raanta. "You get a couple stretches in and then the game keeps going. Sometimes it's easier like that, going in in the middle of the period. The only thing you think about is making the first save."

Luckily for Raanta, the Coyotes offered offensive support before he was tested. Johan Larsson scored a go-ahead goal less than two minutes after Raanta entered. Larsson's goal, his third in five games, gave the Coyotes a 3-2 lead.

Raanta then made that aforementioned, all-important "first save." And it was a potential game-saving stop -- a breakaway denial on Colorado's Matt Calvert.

"It doesn't really matter what kind of save (the first one) is," said Raanta. "Whether it is with your head or your toe, but at least you made that first save. From then on, you just try to keep going, you try to move a little more and get inside the game."

Raanta was perfect for the remainder of the game, and quite frankly, outstanding.

Head coach Rick Tocchet lauded Raanta's ability to perform so well after sitting "cold" on the Coyotes bench for nearly two hours. 

"Raants came in and did a hell of a job for us," said Tocchet.

Jakob Chychrun also noted the difficult nature of Raanta's undertaking.

"Those are tough situations for (goalies)," said Chychrun. "I'm sure that wasn't easy. He did a heck of a job for us, that's what you look for and that's what you need sometimes. That was big. That's a really big performance by him to come in late in the game, probably very cold sitting on the bench, and he was able to make some really big saves for us. That's huge for us.

"Can't say enough of what a job that is for him to step in there and really help us get that win."

The eventful ending was preceded by the teams trading pairs of goals in the first two periods. The Coyotes scored twice in the first period with goals from Derick Brassard and Chychrun. The Avalanche countered with two goals in the second period.

Including playoffs, the Coyotes' win snapped their four-game losing streak against the Avalanche.

"You had to make a stand (against Colorado) eventually," said Tocchet. "Just to win the game, we need some wins here, we grinded it out. Regardless who's in the lineup for them or us, you've got to win a hockey game, and we did. Maybe that is a mental break, I don't know, I haven't really figured that out. It's just good to get the win."

Raanta was happy to come through when called upon. The last couple months have been an emotional roller coaster, he said.

"There's been some ups and downs for me this year," said Raanta. "I feel like I haven't been able to help the team as much as I want. You could see how the guys were blocking shots and they were doing pretty much everything for me there. It's an emotional feeling right now to get that win and help the guys."

Kuemper left the game with a lower-body injury and made 17 saves before exiting. He will be re-evaluated Tuesday.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

The Game:

First Period: Derick Brassard opened the scoring at 4:54 to give the Coyotes a 1-0 lead. Jakob Chychrun doubled the Arizona lead, 2-0, at the 15:17 mark.

Second Period: Valeri Nichushkin, 9:31, and Andre Burakovsky, 14:52, scored to tie the game 2-2.

Third Period: Johan Larsson scored the go-ahead, eventual game-winning goal with 15:54 remaining in regulation.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Statistics:

SOG: ARI - 14, COL - 35

PP: ARI - 1/2, COL - 1/4

Hits: ARI - 24, COL - 20

Blocks: ARI - 21, COL - 10

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Tocchet's Take: "It's tough for a goalie to sit there for two hours and go in there cold. Raants did a hell of a job. He's a pro. We had some good blocks at the end, that's what it takes to win, you've got to be able to stand in front and take some blocks. A couple of our defensemen and forwards ate some pucks. That's good stuff there, especially at the end when (the Avalanche) were pressing."

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Jakob Chychrun said: "It's not easy to win on the road, especially this trip here where we're playing a couple good teams. We need to stick with it one game at a time, come in tomorrow and get a good practice and continue to bring energy here. If we can continue to play our style of game and make it harder on other teams to have success, we'll be in every game. We never feel like we're out of games -- whether we're behind by a couple, or tonight when we were ahead, and they were able to tie it up. Tonight, we still felt like we were in a good spot. It's just nice having confidence and being able to win games in all different situations, being behind or being up. It's just good for this group to continue to build off that."

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Notable:

  • Clayton Keller, with two assists, extended his point streak to a season-long five games and registered his sixth multi-point game of the year.
  • Jakob Chychrun scored his seventh goal of the season, which ranks third among NHL defensemen. Only Montreal's Jeff Petry (8) and Florida's Aaron Ekblad (9) have scored more.
  • The Coyotes have scored seven power play goals in their previous four road games. Arizona's road power play ranks No. 4 in the NHL (31.0%).
  • The Coyotes road penalty kill ranks No. 2 in the NHL (89.2%). Arizona killed three of four penalties Monday.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

A Closer Look: The Coyotes extended their road win streak to five games. It is just the ninth time in team history Arizona has posted a road win streak of five or more games. The Coyotes' overall road record stands at 5-3-0. 

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Coyotes Lineup:

Forwards

Keller - Dvorak - Pitlick

Crouse - Schmaltz - Garland

Brassard - Larsson - Kessel

Caggiula - Gauthier - Fischer

Defensemen

Chychrun - Goligoski

Ekman-Larsson - Demers

Oesterle - Hjalmarsson

Scratches

Hayden

Lyubushkin

Hill

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Roster Notes: Darcy Kuemper left the game with 17:39 remaining due to a lower-body injury. Antti Raanta came in for relief. Drake Caggiula returned to the lineup after he was a designated healthy scratch Saturday.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

What's Next: The Coyotes have a practice scheduled Tuesday in Colorado. They play the Avalanche Wednesday, 7 p.m., at Ball Arena.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Photo of the Game: Snowing in Colorado. Christian Fischer makes a hard stop in the Avalanche crease after Philipp Grubauer makes a save on his shot in the third period.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Postgame Interviews: Rick Tocchet, Antti Raanta and Jakob Chychrun

Video: Postgame: Mar. 8 at COL (3-2 W)

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Highlights:

Video: Raanta perfect in relief, helps Coyotes to 3-2 win

Lead Photo Credit: Michael Martin - NHLI via Getty Images

View More