Coyotes head to N.Y. in search of bounce-back win
The Arizona Coyotes began their second Eastern-time-zone road trip by allowing their most goals in nearly three weeks.
The four-game trip continues Monday night against a New York Islanders team that got its offense untracked last week on the West Coast.
The Coyotes (9-7-1) had their three-game winning streak snapped on Saturday night with a 5-2 loss at Columbus. They had won four of their previous five on the road and hadn’t given up that many goals since losing 6-0 to Boston on Oct. 27.
"We know we’ve done a good job on the road. (Saturday) wasn’t one of those good jobs," coach Dave Tippett said after the Columbus loss. "You learn a lot about your team in certain situations, and that was one of them."
Anthony Duclair had a goal and an assist and Oliver Ekman-Larsson also scored, giving him two goals and three assists during a five-game point streak.
"I’m feeling pretty good about my game," Ekman-Larsson said. "I’m playing with a lot of confidence and it feels good with the puck. I think me and ‘Stoney’ (Michael Stone) are playing better together as a unit."
Mike Smith had a rough game, though, allowing five goals on 21 shots after posting a 2.34 goals-against average during a 3-1-0 stretch. He’s 1-3-0 with a 3.85 GAA against the Islanders since 2013 and lost the last meeting 5-1 on Feb. 24.
The Islanders (9-6-3) scored two goals or fewer in six consecutive games before heading to California last week for three games. They beat San Jose4-2 on Tuesday, fell 2-1 to the Los Angeles on Thursday despite a 32-22 shot advantage and completed the trip with a 4-1 win in Anaheim on Friday.
Frans Nielsen scored twice for New York, which hadn’t scored four since beating Calgary on Oct. 26. The Islanders are 8-1-0 when scoring at least three goals.
"Goals have been hard to come by for everyone a little bit here. To put four on the board was good for us," said Anders Lee, who had two assists. "Especially on the road, far away from home at the end of the trip here against a good team."
The Islanders began the season scoring at least three in seven of their first nine games before going into a bit of drought. They’re still struggling with the man advantage, going 1 for 21 over their last seven.
"The important thing for us is to build toward playing that type of game consistently, like we did last year," forward Cal Clutterbuck said. "I think it’s taken us a little bit longer this year. But these last three games have been a pretty good indication that we’re starting to find it."
Nielsen had a goal and an assist in the Islanders win over Arizona last February. Jaroslav Halak has a 1.40 GAA during a 4-0-1 stretch against the Coyotes.
- Anders Lee
- Anthony Duclair
- Arizona Coyotes
- Cal Clutterbuck
- FOX Sports Arizona
- FOX Sports Arizona - Coyotes
- Frans Nielsen
- Jaroslav Halak
- Michael Stone
- New York Islanders
- Oliver Ekman-Larsson