Coyotes fall short against Carolina after big win

Arizona Defenseman Ilya Lyubushkin winds up for a shot

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Arizona Defenseman Ilya Lyubushkin winds up for a shot

Ole Olafson, Reporter

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The Arizona Coyotes wrapped up a four-game home stand on Thursday night at Gila River Arena.

After losing to Los Angeles in overtime and Chicago in a shootout, the Coyotes defense and goaltender Antti Raanta shut out division rival Edmonton and the top two scorers in the league, Leon Draisaitl and Connor McDavid.

Arizona started Thursday night’s game in possession of the first wild card spot in the Western Conference, only one point ahead of Calgary.

Defenseman, Alex Goligoski, drew first blood for Arizona with less than five minutes left in the opening period.  After Carolina won a faceoff in their own zone, the Coyotes managed to steal the puck and Phil Kessel passed it to Goligoski, who blasted it from the point, past Carolina goalie, James Reimer.

The second period began with Christian Dvorak chipping in a bouncing rebound to stretch the Coyote’s lead to two at 4:06.

Exactly one minute later, Carolina’s Andrei Svechnikov broke Rannta’s four-period shutout streak, cutting Arizona’s lead in half.

Before the period was half over, Jaccob Slavin tied the game for Carolina and Svechnikov claimed the lead for the Hurricanes, with his second goal of the night, two minutes later.

Sebastian Aho scored his 28th goal of the season at just 1:03 of the third period to give the Hurricanes a two-goal cushion.  Svechnikov collected his third point of the night with an assist on the goal.

Conor Garland put a stop to the Hurricane’s four-goal unanswered streak when he deflected the puck past Reimer for his 19th goal of the season and third consecutive game with a goal.

Even though Head Coach Rick Tocchet pulled Raanta late in the game, during a power play, to give his club a two-man advantage, Arizona couldn’t generate enough offense to tie the game.

Sebastian Aho scored his second goal of the night into the empty net to put a stamp on the game for Carolina with 33 seconds left.

Arizona embarks on a four-game road trip beginning in Boston on Saturday afternoon and ending in Ottawa on Feb. 13. They return to action at Gila River Arena on Feb. 15 against Washington.