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‘Yotes Notes: Short-Handed Rush Nearly Turned Momentum vs. Isles

by Dave Vest / Arizona Coyotes

The Coyotes lost to the New York Islanders, 5-2, on Monday night at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y. The game was close for two periods, but momentum swung to New York’s side for good when Arizona came ever so close but failed to score the game-tying goal late in the second period.

Trailing 1-0, the Coyotes were killing a New York power play when forward Brad Richardson stole the puck and fed forward Tobias Rieder for a two-on-one rush with defenseman Connor Murphy.

Once deep in New York’s zone, Rieder slid a pass across the slot to Murphy who wristed a shot that glanced off Islanders goalie Jaroslav Halak, hit the right post and bounced in front of the goal with 7:15 left in the second period. Richardson eventually gathered the rebound and put a shot on goal through traffic, but Halak stopped the puck and covered it.

The scored remained 1-0 through two periods and the Islanders broke the game open by scoring the first three goals of the third period.

Trailing 4-0, the Coyotes made New York sweat a little with cosmetic goals by Martin Hanzal and Mikkel Boedker late in the third period.

“You’re down 4-0 you might as well push, right?” Head Coach Dave Tippett said. “We capitalized on a couple of chances but it was a little too late… We were hanging around the game, we just didn’t execute well enough to get ourselves back in the game.”

• The Coyotes dominated the Islanders in the face-off circles, winning 65 percent of the draws. Antoine Vermette (13 for 21), Boyd Gordon (7 for 10) and Hanzal (6 of 9) led the way, per usual.

• Boedker scored a goal to maintain his point-per-game average vs. the Islanders in seven games played.

• Defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson assisted on Boedker’s goal to extend his point streak to a career-high six games.

• Defenseman Michael Stone blocked seven shots on goal.

• Forward Craig Cunningham and defenseman Philip Samuelsson both made their season debuts. Cunningham played 10:46, took one shot on goal and delivered a hit, and Samuelsson played 18:43, took one shot on goal, delivered one hit and blocked four shots.

• In a classy gesture, the Islanders arranged for a moment of silence and for a singer to perform the French national anthem before the game in honor of the victims of the terrorist attacks in Paris last week. Another singer performed the U.S. national anthem after the French anthem.

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