GLENDALE – The Coyotes earned at least a point for the seventh consecutive game (5-0-2) on Thursday night, but their 3-2 overtime loss to the Detroit Red Wings at Gila River Arena stung nonetheless.
That’s because the Coyotes led 2-0 with a little more than eight minutes left in the third period before allowing two power-play goals that ultimately sent the game to overtime.
Red Wings forward Gustav Nyquist scored the game-tying goal at 14:20 of the third period. The Coyotes challenged the goal claiming goaltender interference on Red Wings forward Justin Abdelkader, but the goal was confirmed.
Here’s the official ruling by the NHL:
“At 14:20 of the third period in the Red Wings/Coyotes game, Arizona requested a Coach's Challenge to review whether Justin Abdelkader interfered with Coyotes goaltender Louis Domingue before the puck crossed the goal line.
After reviewing all available replays and consulting with NHL Hockey Operations staff, the Referee confirmed no goaltender interference infractions occurred before the puck crossed the goal line.
Therefore the original call stands – good goal Detroit Red Wings.”
The Coyotes were not pleased.
“Abdelkader’s leg is stuck in Domingue’s pad so he can’t get across,” Head Coach Dave Tippett said. “To me, it is inhibiting the goaltender’s ability to make a save. I’d call it 10 out of 10 times you look at it and I can’t believe it’s not, but that’s the way it goes.”
Captain Shane Doan agreed.
“We've had three or four of them reversed against us for way less than that,” captain Shane Doan said. “For us it was hard because Abdelkader doesn’t really make an attempt at the puck, he just puts a stick into our goalie’s stomach and holds him there. But at the same time, they didn’t see it that way. It’s their judgment call, not ours. It is what it is. At least you have an opportunity to challenge it. We figured that one is one that should go your way but sometimes they don’t.”
• Defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson scored his 13th goal of the season at 4:51 of the second period to extend his point streak to four games. He has notched three goals and four assists during that stretch.
• Doan scored a power-play goal at 18:50 of the second period. It was his 121st power-play goal, one shy of tying Dale Hawerchuk for the Coyotes/Jets franchise record for power-play goals.
Location was the key on Doan’s goal; a shot attempt by Tobias Rieder hit Doan’s left skate in the crease and ricocheted into the net.
• Goalie Louis Domingue made 22 saves in the loss. He is 7-0-3 in 10 starts this season.
• New defenseman Kevin Connauton reported to the team on Thursday morning but was a healthy scratch for Thursday’s game. The Coyotes claimed Connauton off waivers on Wednesday. He is expected to play at some point on this homestand.
Connauton has changed NHL teams twice via the waiver wire.
“It strengthens you mentally to get bounced around a little bit,” Connauton said. “Everyone kind of takes different journeys in the league. Some guys get the jersey on their draft day and never look back. Other guys got to carve your way through. I think I’m taking a lot of positives, and I’ve met some great people and learned a lot of lessons and this is just another chapter in it.”
• The Coyotes next play on Saturday at Gila River Arena and have changed the start time of the game vs. New Jersey from 7 p.m. to noon (Arizona time). The change was made because the NFL has scheduled an Arizona Cardinals home playoff game for 6:15 p.m. on the same day. The Cardinals play at University of Phoenix Stadium, which is just across Maryland Avenue from Gila River Arena. The thinking behind the change is that having two games taking place at the same time on the same day would create extremely heavy traffic congestion in the area.