Arizona Coyotes Rout Columbus Blue Jackets


The Arizona Coyotes started off the new year with an impressive win as they defeated the Columbus Blue Jackets 6-3. After struggling on home ice, Arizona has turned around their play at home as they’ve now won four games in-a-row at Gila River Arena.

Arizona was the better team in the first period. Columbus came out and got the first few shots on goal, but the Yotes quickly took over control of the period. The home team played effective hockey in all facets of the game.

In the offensive zone, they were able to sustain consistent pressure and beat defenders to loose pucks. On defense, they were able to cut off and beat Columbus attackers to the puck in addition to blocking the shots.

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Mike Smith was very active as well. He made good saves, but was also coming out of his net to play the puck quite frequently. He did it at smart times too as there was never a close call with him out of the net, something Coyotes fans have seen all too much this year.

The Coyotes’ hard work paid off as Tobias Rieder was able to backhand the puck from right in front of the crease and into the net off a bounce off the boards. The Coyotes took the 1-0 lead into the intermission.

The beginning of the second period was a different story for Arizona than the first.

The Coyotes began the period on the penalty kill. They did a good job at killing the penalty, but Columbus was able to score shortly after the penalty. It was a soft goal that Smith is expected to stop.

It was only a couple shifts later that the Coyotes took yet another penalty. Columbus was able to score on this power play. Fortunately for Arizona, they would be awarded a power play quickly after Columbus’ second goal.

Arizona took advantage of the power play and scored on a shot that was stropped initially, but the puck squeaked out of goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky’s equipment and Oliver Ekman-Larsson was there to put in the loose puck.

Near the end of the period, Arizona was given another power play. The Coyotes’ looked really good on this power play. They were moving the puck around effectively, getting shots on goal and did great keeping the puck in the zone.  They were again able to find the back of the net on this man advantage. Sam Gagner picked up his first power play goal of the season and gave Arizona a 3-2 lead.

On the very next shift, Arizona kept up the attack and Martin Hanzal was able to score another goal for Arizona.  The Coyotes went into the intermission up 4-2 and were out-shooting Columbus, 28-18.

The Coyotes’ great play continued into the third period. Early on in the period, Rieder fed Kyle Chipchura with a beautiful pass and Kyle Chipchura was able to beat Bobrovsky for Arizona’s fifth goal.

Columbus really fell apart in the final period. Shortly after the Chipchura goal, Gagner was able to get his second goal of the game on a very nice 3-on-2 tic-tac-toe passing play on a power play. With that, Arizona was up 6-2 before the midway point of the third.

Arizona finished the period strong in all areas of the game. With under a minute left, Columbus was able to grab one more goal but that was it, and the game ended 6-3.

Game Notes:

  • Mike Smith got his first start in eight games for Arizona.
  • Arizona has now won four in-a-row at home.
  • Sam Gagner scored his first power play goal of the season.
  • With the win tonight, Arizona ended Columbus’ 4 game winning streak on the road.
  • Arizona scored on three out of four power plays.
  • Columbus had the best ranked power play coming into tonight’s game, but Arizona killed 2 out of their 3 power plays.


Arizona Coyotes:

  • Tobias Rieder (5th)
  • Oliver Ekman-Larsson (10th)
  • Sam Gagner (6th, 7th)
  • Martin Hanzal (7th)
  • Kyle Chipchura (3rd)

Columbus Blue Jackets:

Three Stars:

  1. Martin Hanzal
  2. Tobias Rieder
  3. Sam Gagner