GLENDALE, Arizona - Early on, it looked like the Winnipeg Jets were going to spoil the party at Gila River Arena.
The Arizona Coyotes retired former captain Shane Doan's number 19 in a 90-minute ceremony prior to the game, but it seemed like it was the Jets who got the initial surge. Patrik Laine scored 2:11 into the game on the power play to give the visitors the lead.
But that was the only puck that got by Darcy Kuemper, as the Coyotes scored four unanswered from that point on, handing the Jets a 4-1 loss to end a three-game road trip.
"They just played pretty good defence. They didn't give us much. That was probably the key. Their goalie was good tonight," said Laine, adding the power play scoring in three straight games is a positive to build on.
"It's obviously good we're going to need that in the future, hopefully in the playoffs. It's good to get it going. But it's not good if we can't score any five-on-five goals. But it was good to get that one."
Video: WPG@ARI: Laine wires home one-timer for PPG
The Jets got the start they were looking for, as an early tripping call on Alex Galchenyuk put Winnipeg on the power play 90 seconds into the game.
Blake Wheeler slid an incredible pass through the Arizona penalty killers onto the tape of Laine, who buried his 28th of the season short side on Kuemper.
With the assist, Wheeler hit the 60-assist mark for the second consecutive season, the first Jet in franchise history to do so.
Overall Wheeler felt the team did well to generate 35 total shots on goal and only allow 24 against.
"Score aside, if you tell us the zone time we got and the looks we got, the shots, before the game - it's probably a night we say we win. That wasn't the case tonight," said Wheeler.
"They forecheck hard and they collapse hard defensively. They're a team that plays really hard. It's never easy coming into this building. We respect that fact. It was just one of those nights."
The Coyotes responded quickly. Brad Richardson had a couple whacks at a loose puck in front of Laurent Brossoit on a delayed penalty. His second attempt beat the Jets goaltender on the stick side 5:43 into the first.
Lawson Crouse gave Arizona its first lead 7:40 into the middle frame. He broke in on a partial break with Sami Niku applying pressure and got a backhand on net. Brossoit made the save, but the rebound popped out and off Ben Chiarot's skate and in.
"I liked our start and I really liked our (penalty) kills but after that there was the remainder of that first period, we felt we bogged ourselves down in the neutral zone," said Maurice.
"When you play a team that's quick on the forecheck, I thought we moved the puck well. We started to slow down moving the puck more than anything else."
That lead grew to 3-1 with just over six minutes left in the second when Clayton Keller's wrist shot from the high slot beat Brossoit under the left arm. The shot looked to have changed direction slightly off the stick of Tyler Myers, who was trying to knock it off Keller's stick before the shot.
Winnipeg peppered the Arizona net in the final period, outshooting Arizona 17-6 in the final 20 minutes.
The closest chance came off the stick of Chiarot, whose slapshot rang off the crossbar behind Kuemper.
"The bounces weren't going and things are tough for us right now. It's something we have to work through," said Wheeler. "When things are tough for your team, the puck bounces the other way. It doesn't go necessarily to the guy that's open on the back door. They don't kick one in for us. It's a lot of those things when your team is fighting it a little bit."
Arizona added an empty net goal with 31 seconds to round out the scoring.
The Jets now sit at 37-21-4 and head home for a two-game stretch at Bell MTS Place, which kicks off on Tuesday night against the Minnesota Wild.
Josh Morrissey left the game in the third period with an apparent upper-body injury after getting checked into the boards in the neutral zone.
Maurice didn't have an update on the Jets defenceman, who will get further evaluated in Winnipeg on Monday.