Coming in to Tuesday night’s tilt against the Dallas Stars, the Arizona Coyotes hadn’t been able to buy a win this season, sitting at 0-4-1. The Stars have been trying to pull to even in their record.
The Coyotes also made the decision to play their rookie goalie, Adin Hill. Both circumstances (rookie goalie, being winless) would make any team a little desperate for a win, which the Stars have had trouble responding to well in the past.
Thankfully, while the play wasn’t always pretty, the Stars were still able to pull out the win.
Less than two minutes into the game, Antoine Roussel responded to a shove from Luke Schenn rather predictably, earning both of them a fighting major and a trip to the box.
In a combination of the half ex-Dallas Stars defense and the aforementioned desperation, the Coyotes kept the Stars on the run in the early going of the game. No goals, but they did have more shots on goal and the Stars spent a lot of time chasing the puck instead of controlling it.
Thankfully, this changed five minutes into the period, when Mattias Janmark took advantage of a line change and sped into the zone, wrapped around, and shot on net. He didn’t score. But Radek Faksa, camped out in front of Hill, cleaned up the rebound and scored Hill’s first goal against.
Despite a power play opportunity when Jason Demers tripped Tyler Seguin, the score remained the same for the rest of the period. The Stars had a better shot count but still chased the puck a lot.
The Stars seemed to calm down more in the second and play with a little more control. Although it was still necessary for Bishop to make some huge saves to keep the score 1-0.
Midway through the second, Tyler Pitlick beat Oliver Ekman-Larsson behind the Coyotes net to get the puck out to Dan Hamhuis, left all alone in front of Hill.
Seriously, look at this beautiful work from Pitlick:
Turnovers proved to be the undoing of the Stars toward the dying minutes of the period. John Klingberg stripped Max Domi of the puck and left former Star Jason Demers all alone with the puck. Demers had no problem beating Bishop glove side.
The third period felt a little bit like an exercise in frustration while fans watched the Stars go 4-11 in shots with the Coyotes playing their hardest to win their first of the season. And the Stars seemed to do their level best to hand that win to the opposition, especially with two back-to-back penalties with 17 seconds of overlap 5-on-3 for the Coyotes.
With a little under two minutes left to go in the game, the Coyotes pulled Hill for the extra attacker and Alexander Radulov notched his first goal of the season on the empty netter. For reasons unknown, the goal was reviewed for offsides, but ultimately was deemed a good goal.
So the Coyotes remain winless, Bishop is the goaltender the Stars have been waiting for, and Tyler Pitlick continues to be a solid add to the fourth line. The Stars will be in Arizona on Thursday night.