The Coyotes dropped their Pacific Division Championship banner on Sunday night. The Chicago Blackhawks didn’t care. They came to Glendale, Ariz., and spoiled the party.
Marian Hossa and Viktor Stalberg scored goals 50 seconds apart from each other in the second period for Chicago. The Blackhawks would add two more goals in the third period to claim their second road victory in as many nights, this time 6-4 over the Coyotes.
The Blackhawks were coming off a 5-2 victory over the Stanley Cup champion Los Angeles Kings at Staples Center on Saturday night.
It seemed like Chicago rode the momentum of that big win throughout the entire game with the Coyotes.
Hossa had two goals on Sunday night, giving him four in two games for the Blackhawks.
“It definitely feels good, especially winning against this team, we always seem to have a tough time in this building but we played a good game,” Hossa said.
The Coyotes got on the board quickly in the first period, as right winger David Moss tallied his first goal of the season.
Center Antoine Vermette would also get his first goal of the season in the second period to give Phoenix a 2-1 lead.
Then the floodgates opened up for the Blackhawks. They’d run off four straight goals to make it 5-2.
The Coyotes would strike back with two goals of their own in the third period to tighten things up a bit.
Center Martin Hanzal and captain Shane Doan did their best Blackhawk impression, scoring their goals 50 seconds apart as well, making the game 5-4 at that point.
But Chicago wasn’t done scoring. 22 seconds after Doan scored, center Dave Bolland got his second goal of the game to provide the game’s final score.
Chicago took 31 shots on goalie Mike Smith, including 12 in the final period. That’s something Doan knows can’t continue night after night if the Coyotes expect to be relevant this season.
“Both games, we’ve given up way too many chances against,” Doan said. “We’ve got to eliminate that, that’s not the type of game we’ve had success at. It’s two games, but two big games. We gotta find a way to get ready for the next one [and] get ready to be good [and] be better.”
The Coyotes, like every team in the league, has a certain brand of hockey that they’d like to play every night.
Moss saw a lot of things that he thinks brought the team well below that mark they try to set every game.
“I think it was just a little too much run and gun,” Moss said. “We gave them too many chances and we had too many plays where we turned the puck over. We weren’t solid in our own net. It was just too sloppy and it’s something we have to clean up and make sure we’re not making these mistakes.”
Being solid in net isn’t how you’d describe Smith’s play so far in two games.
Smith has given up 10 goals in those games, which is uncharacteristic for him.
Smith didn’t sugar-coat it when talking about his play.
“Unacceptable goaltending [in] both games,” Smith said. “There’s no excuse for it, it’s a letdown to the whole team.”
How does Smith remedy this? It’s quite simple: He says he needs to do a better job at stopping the puck.
“I’m not happy with the way I’ve played so far, obviously,” Smith said. “I’ll be working hard in practice to get it back and doing whatever I can to get back to the form I had last year.”
Head coach Dave Tippett was highly upset after the game and had some choice words for his team after Sunday’s performance.
“Get your head together and do something about it, instead of making the same errors over and over again [and] that’s what’s frustrating,” Tippett said. “We should be able to crack that and we will crack that.”