The Arizona Coyotes ended their season-long road trip on the right note with their second consecutive victory on Tuesday night. It was a 4-1 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets to start the month of February with a small winning streak.
The first period began with the Arizona Coyotes on a flurry of offense. The Coyotes came out with a renewed energy that was created after their victory in Montreal and were ferocious on the forecheck against the Columbus Blue Jackets.
Specifically, the young fourth line of Lucas Lessio, B.J. Crombeen and Brendan Shinnimin, were players looking for the early advantage. Eight minutes into the period, they found it as Lessio was able to get one past goaltender Anton Forsberg for a 1-0 lead. Arizona’s forecheck dictated the pace of the first period and gave the Coyotes a 14-10 shots on goal advantage.
Feb 3, 2015; Columbus, OH, USA; Arizona Coyotes left wing Lucas Lessio (38) celebrates a goal against Columbus Blue Jackets goalie Anton Forsberg (31) during the first period at Nationwide Arena. Mandatory Credit: Russell LaBounty-USA TODAY Sports
If the first period was characterized by the forecheck, then the second period’s theme could be identified as the special team play. Forty seconds into the period, James Wisniewski fired a slap shot through traffic and past Mike Smith for a power play goal to tie the game for Columbus.
Two minutes later, while on the power play, Arizona was able to regain the lead with a snipe by Oliver Ekman-Larsson, giving him his 15th goal of the season. Less than three minutes later, the Coyotes were able to cash in on the power play again with Shane Doan getting one by Forsberg, giving Arizona a 3-1 lead. Keith Yandle assisted on both goals to raise his total to 32 on the year. Arizona again led the period with shots on goal, 13-9.
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The third period began with the Blue Jackets making a real push on the offensive side. They stock piled shots on goal while Arizona wasn’t able to register a shot on goal until a little after the halfway period of the third.
After a key penalty kill from the Coyotes, Columbus had no choice but to pull Forsberg from the net with less than three minutes left in the game. This gave the opportunity for Tobias Rieder to net his 8th goal of the season for a 4-1 victory. Mike Smith saved 30 of 31 shots on his way to victory.
The Arizona Coyotes (19-26-6) head back to Glendale on Thursday to take on the Carolina Hurricanes while the Columbus Blue Jackets (21-25-3) host the St. Louis Blues on Friday night.
- Lucas Lessio (2nd)
- Oliver Ekman-Larsson (15th)
- Shane Doan (11th)
- Tobias Rieder (8th)
Columbus Blue Jackets:
- James Wisniewski (6th)
- Mike Smith
- Oliver Ekman-Larsson
- Antoine Vermette