Arizona Coyotes: 3 Keys to Win Over Blue Jackets

Looking back on the Arizona Coyotes 4-1 win in Columbus Tuesday night against the Blue Jackets.  

It was an unnerving start for the Arizona Coyotes (3-5-0) on Tuesday evening against the Columbus Blue Jackets (4-4-0). The Yotes conceded the contest’s first goal just 31 seconds into regulation before eventually settling down. A bounce-back marker from Christian Fischer sparked four unanswered from the Yotes, which included three from Fischer and a powerplay marker from Dylan Strome, cementing the team’s third win of the season.

Here are some of the keys to the win over Columbus:

3 Keys to Tuesday’s Victory in Columbus

1.) Darcy Kuemper’s Solid Play

Backup netminder Darcy Kuemper had another impressive start turning away 35 of the Blue Jackets 36 shots, collecting his first win of the season. All the more impressive considering the seven-year veteran got news that he would be starting Tuesday’s matchup just a few hours before game-time, following Antti Raanta‘s removal due to flu-like symptoms.

“He didn’t bat an eye,” said head coach Rick Tochett after the game to team reporters. “It’s never easy for a goalie to be told two hours before that you’re going. I’m really proud of Kuemps, he played really well.”

The Coyotes goaltender now boasts a 1-1-0 record with a 1.51 GAA and a .953 SV% across two starts this season.

2.) Christan Fischer’s First Career Hat-Trick

Derek Stepan assisted on all three of Christian Fischer’s goals Tuesday night to give the former second-round pick his first career NHL hat-trick. Fischer scored in all three periods and pushed his goal streak to two straight collecting four goals total over that span. The debut of Alex Galchenyuk forced Coach Tochett to shuffle his lineup once again but the move seemed to have unearthed some chemistry between Stepan, Fischer and Brendan Perlini. The newly assembled line was electric all night, combining for seven points on the evening.

3.) The Coyotes Penalty Kill

The Coyotes penalty kill continues to be among the best in the NHL. Currently, the team ranks third in the league, killing off 90 percent of opponents powerplays to start this season. That trend continued Tuesday night in Columbus as the Coyotes totally silenced the struggling Blue Jackets powerplay. The Blue Jackets were 0-for-3 on the power play and registered only two shots with the man advantage. Defenceman Alex Goligoski was the teams best penalty killer, blocking three shots in over three minutes of short-handed playing time.

The Coyotes will look to make it two-straight victories this Thursday when they host the Vancouver Canuks (5-4-0) at Gila River Arena.