Arizona Coyotes lose 4-3 to Tampa Bay Lightning

The Coyotes dropped a close game to the two-time reigning Stanley Cup champions


Sarah Hall

Warmups before the Arizona Coyotes-Tampa Bay Lightning game on Friday night.

The Arizona Coyotes almost staged a dramatic comeback against the Stanley Cup champion Tampa Bay Lightning on Friday night, but the team ultimately came up short in a one-goal loss at Gila River Arena.

The scoring opened with a snapshot from Tampa Bay’s Brayden Point, unassisted 3:30 into the first period. Midway through the frame, the Coyotes had two grade-A chances against Lightning goaltender Brian Elliott. Alex Galchenyuk had a shot go off the left post, and Nick Schmaltz had a shot go along the goal line but not cross it all the way, much to the displeasure of the fans in the arena.

Shortly after those missed chances, the Lightning struck again, this time through Corey Perry. The veteran forward’s shot beat Coyotes goaltender Karel Vejmelka at 17:11 of the period. Pat Maroon and Ryan McDonagh nabbed the assists.

The Coyotes were finally able to get a shot past Elliott in the opening period’s final minute. Galchenyuk was able to backhand a shot past the goaltender, with assists going to Janis Moser and Clayton Keller at 19:08.

The second period was uneventful, with the Coyotes getting four shots on goal to Tampa Bay’s five.

Lightning captain Steven Stamkos pushed the lead back to two goals early in the third period, as he scored on a breakaway at 4:03. The assists went to Victor Hedman and Alex Killorn.

Keller then scored on a slapshot to bring the home team to within a goal. Arizona’s All-Star beat Elliott five-hole at 9:54, and Travis Boyd and Phil Kessel were credited with the helpers.

But Stamkos scored on another breakaway a little over two minutes later to make it 4-2. Even after Nick Schmaltz cut the deficit back to one at 18:22 following a scramble in front of the net, Stamkos’s second goal stood as the winner. 

The Coyotes now have an eight-day break before they return to play the L.A. Kings on Feb. 19.