Arizona Coyotes fall short against Pittsburgh Penguins

Superstars Evgeny Malkin, Sidney Crosby too much for Coyotes at Gila River Arena


James Mackey

The Arizona Coyotes fell 4-1 against Pittsburgh on Saturday

James Mackey and Kye Graves

The Coyotes returned to home ice at Gila River Arena on Saturday for a battle against the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Scott Wedgewood got the start in goal for Arizona, with a 10-13-3 record, a 3.17 goals against average and a .907 save percentage.

Tristan Jarry defended the net at the opposite end of the ice.  At 30-12-6, Jarry has a 2.31 GAA and a .922 save percentage.

Both teams were dormant through the first period, the only real action coming in the form of a penalty by Coyotes defenseman Dysin Mayo, for interference at 7:58 of the frame.

The remainder of the period came and went, ending with the Penguins ahead in the shot column, 19-5.

Both teams were able to net a goal in the second period.

The Penguins took the lead just 2:09 into the period, when Jeff Carter found Kasperi Kapanen in front of the Coyotes goal.

Clayton Keller responded 11:28 into the period, when Anton Stralman fed him the puck, setting up the Coyotes only goal.

There were three power plays in the final five minutes of the second frame.

Arizona had the extra man when Evgeny Malkin had to sit for interfering with Wedgewood.

In the last moments of the period, Barrett Hayton was called for hooking and Clayton Keller for a trip, giving the Penguins a 5-on-3 advantage as well as 33 shots to the Coyotes 15.

Pittsburgh began the third with :59 seconds left on the two-man advantage but the Coyotes were able to kill both penalties.

However, Malkin struck 12:36 in, with what would turn out to be the unassisted game winner.

Later in the period, Sidney Crosby netted his first of two goals, both assisted by Jake Guentzel.  His second wound up to be an empty net goal with an additional assist credited to Brian Dumoulin.

The game ended 4-1 Penguins with the shots, not surprisingly, 49-21 in favor of Pittsburgh.

“We had no pop, we had no fight, no execution. Our decision (making) was slow,” head coach Andre Tourigny said of the game.

The Coyotes hit the road Sunday for a one-game series in San Jose, and return to Gila River for a Tuesday night scrap with the NHL’s newest franchise, the Seattle Kraken.