Hell hasn’t frozen over yet but if the Arizona Coyotes maintain their winning ways Satan may need to buy a coat. The Coyotes shutout the visiting Nashville Predators on Saturday night and with the 4-0 win they are now 7-1-2 in their last ten-games. Arizona is riding a three-game winning streak and at the midway part of the season they are 21-16-4, second in the Pacific Division.
“Everybody around the league are starting to take us seriously,” Coyotes goalie Louis Domingue said. “You know what they’re going to have to start taking us seriously because we’re up in the standings and teams are going to want to chase us out of the playoffs”
Domingue’s confidence is stemming from his stellar play in place of the injured Mike Smith and Saturday was his second shutout of the season. In his last three-starts he has surrendered three-goals and for the season he is 6-2-2, with a 2.06 GAA.
“It’s amazing, Coyotes forward Tobias Rieder said. “Having a goalie back there like this it’s unbelievable. He gives us a lot of confidence and hopefully he can keep it up.”
After a fairly uneventful first period the Coyotes scored first.
At 3:35 in the second period Coyotes center Antoine Vermette scored the 200th goal of his NHL career. The power play goal was broke the scoreless tie. Tobias Rieder and Shane Doan tallied assists on Vermette’s sixth goal of the season.
Arizona maintained a 1-0 lead throughout the second second and 55-second into the third stanza Rieder scored his eighth goal of the season. Rieder and Anthony Duclair added empty net goals in the closing minutes to put ice the win.
The Coyotes are 4-0-1 in their last five-games.
“You’re only as good as your last game,” Tippett said. “We won our last game, so everyone is happy.”
Arizona have six-games remaining on their seven-game homestand. The Coyotes are off for the next two-days and will host the Edmonton Oilers on Tuesday, January 12. The puck is scheduled to drop 7 p.m. at Gila River Arena.
Stats and Misc.
After 41-games last season the Coyotes were 16-21-4. After 41-games this season they are 21-16-4.
Last season the Coyotes finished 24-50-8 and this season they are three-wins away from equaling that total.
“We’ve got some time before Smitty (Mike Smith) comes back. He’s (Domingue) not doing anything to hurt his chances.” – Dave Tippett on Domingue supplanting Mike Smith when he returns from the Injured Reserve
Three Stars of the Game:
1st. Louis Domingue: 26-saves and the shutout
2nd. Tobias Rieder: 2-1-3
3rd. Antoine Vermette: 1-1-2 (200th career goal)