Phoenix Coyotes Win-Streak Comes to End in Chicago; Next Up: Nashville Predators
|Coyotes captain Shane Doan|
The Phoenix Coyotes nine-game winning streak came to a painful end last night when the Yotes were shut out 2-0 by the Chicago Blackhawks, breaking a tie between the two teams for first place in the West.
The Blackhawks now hold sole possession of the top spot in the Western Conference, and the Coyotes slip to fourth after a win by San Jose gave the Sharks a one-point lead over the Coyotes. The Vancouver Canucks -- despite having fewer points than the Doggies -- hold the third spot because they are leading their division.
The Coyotes nine-game winning streak ties a franchise record dating back to the days when the team was the Winnipeg Jets.
"I'm sure there's some disappointment. We've been on a good run, and we've got some bounces our way, and tonight we didn't generate enough to earn those bounces," Coyotes Coach Dave Tippett tells the Associated Press.
The Howlers beat the Blackhawks on Saturday night in Glendale, but aside from a home game here and there, the Coyotes have spent a lot of their time traveling, and road wear was evident last night.
The Coyotes didn't play horribly but just couldn't get anything going on offense.
Coyotes new addition Lee Stempniak, who has scored nine goals in nine games since being traded to the Coyotes a few weeks ago, couldn't manage to sneak anything by Blackhawks goalie Antti Niemi.
Despite the shutout, the Coyotes appeared to take an early lead in the first period, when Shane Doan slipped one by Niemi, but the goal was called back because Coyotes forward Mathew Lombardi was in the crease at the time of the goal.
The Blackhawks went on to score twice in the second period, putting them up two going into the third.
In the third, the Coyotes were able to prevent to Blackhawks from making the two-goal deficit any larger.
With a little less than two minutes remaining in the game, the Yotes pulled the goaltender in a last-ditch effort to tie the game.
It was embarrassing to watch.
Aside from a brief flurry toward the end of the period, which almost resulted in a goal, the Coyotes made bad pass after bad pass in their own zone, with nobody in the net.
When you pull a goalie in hockey, you have a man advantage -- it's like a cluttered power play. Ideally, the team with the extra man holds the puck and sets up scoring opportunities in the other team's zone. The Coyotes did little of that last night.
The Coyotes will try to begin a new win streak tomorrow night when they face off against the Nashville Predators. The puck drops at 5 p.m. and can be seen on Fox Sports Arizona. For more information on the Coyotes, check out the team's Web site here.