Coyotes Need Extra Time to Release the Kraken

Rick Scuteri / The Associated Press

It was a tail of one period on Friday at Mullett Arena, as the Seattle Kraken were in town to play the Arizona Coyotes and riding a six-game losing streak in search of a possible playoff berth.

Karel Vejmelka, Joey Daccord, and the penalty kill were the biggest stories of the game for both teams.

KAREL VEJMELKA

Entering with nine wins on the season, a 3.37 goals against average, and a save percentage of exactly .900, Vejmelka had been striking below average in many categories.

His appearance on Friday night was a polar opposite to the story of his season to date. 27 saves on 28 shots, a .964 SV%, and not allowing any goals on the Kraken power play.

The lone Kraken goal was at 7:40 of the third period when Ryker Evans found the back of the net for his first career goal in his 24th career game, assisted by Jared McCann (27) and Jaden Schwartz (13), 1-0 Kraken.

JOEY DACCORD

In his return to the house he built, according to Arizona State Men’s Hockey Coach Greg Powers, Daccord had a shutout all but locked down until Clayton Keller found the back of the net with just over a minute to play in regulation, locking down his 29th goal of the year, assisted by Nick² as Bjugstad picked up his 22nd assist of the season and Schmaltz grabbed his 31st.

Daccord’s 24 saves on 26 shots helped Seattle carry their momentum throughout as he and Vejmelka went save for save almost the entire night.

Amidst a season 17-15-0, with a 2.50 GAA and a .917 SV%, the Kraken started hot at the top of the Pacific Division and looking to the playoffs, now outside the playoff window with 69 points, 14 out of the second wildcard spot, any and all points help the Kraken as they continue to build for the future and grinding to the top of the Western Conference.

Regulation ended 1-1, and after a few good back-and-forth chances, Dylan Guenther finally ended the game after receiving a stretch pass from Logan Cooley, a play in which Guenther had cycled the puck to Cooley and then gotten it back after a slight mishandle by Cooley below the defensive red line.

Guenther’s 11th of the year was his first career overtime winner and helped the Coyotes to start off their longest homestretch of the season with a 2-1 OT victory.

Guenther walked the media through the play postgame.

“I bumped it back to Cools, and I saw my guy take a step inside, and he made a nice pass to me and a nice shot.”

When asked about going down the stretch and ending the season, head coach Andre Tourigny referenced Netflix’s The Last Dance, a documentary following Michael Jordan’s last season with the Chicago Bulls.

“I talk about Michael Jordan when he was always finding a way to be mad about something. He was making stuff up to make sure he was ready for his game and give himself a reason to be the best version of himself, whatever the game, that’s what we have to do.”

Tourigny said the overtime helps in “the way we won that game, it’s a good game. Feel good about that one.”

Game two of the Coyotes seven straight at home is on Sunday against the Dallas Stars, who just beat the Coyotes at the American Airlines Center 5-2 on Wednesday.

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James Mackey

Credentialed Writer Covering the Arizona Coyotes

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