GLENDALE, Ariz. — The fourth stop on the trip was a last chance for the Detroit Red Wings to come home with a bit of confidence restored. They couldn’t make it happen, even against a team that has struggled to win.
They got an early lead on the Arizona Coyotes, but given the Coyotes sit at the bottom of the NHL standings at the quarter point, that wasn’t much to cheer for the Wings faithful who livened up Gila River Arena on a Saturday night. The Wings had to settle for one point when they lost 2-1 in overtime, leaving them 0-3-1 on the trip and 8-10-2 on the season.
Dylan Larkin scored his ninth goal of the season, but Scott Wedgewood provided good goaltending, leaving the Wings to deal with a tie when Ryan Dzingel deflected Cam Dineen’s shot with 6:29 to play in the third period.
Jacob Chychrun set up Clayton Keller’s goal 22 seconds into overtime. The Wings challenged there was interference on goalie Alex Nedeljkovic, but the goal stood.
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Larkin, who endured a COVID-19 scare mid-week after a false positive test in Dallas, scored for the fifth time in five games. He pulled his team ahead midway through the first period when he used his speed to track down a loose puck, cut to the net, go backhand-to-forehand and tuck the puck behind Wedgewood. Starting with the Nov. 13 game, when he scored in regulation and overtime, Larkin scored the next game at Columbus, and scored in the second period at Dallas, just before he was removed for pandemic protocol.
Chrychrun anchors the Coyotes’ defense, averaging around 25 minutes a game. That’s about two minutes more than the Wings’ ice-time leader, Filip Hronek, and almost three more than Moritz Seider. Chrychun dates to the 2016 draft, where the Coyotes grabbed him at No. 16 after flipping picks with the Wings in a trade made to jettison Pavel Datsyuk’s contract after he split for the KHL with a year to go on a deal with a $7.5 million cap hit. The Wings’ eventual first-round pick, Dennis Cholowski, was lost in the Seattle expansion draft — the Kraken later put him on waivers — but the deal also gave the Wings the pick they used on Hronek.
Last visit (maybe)
The city of Glendale announced before the season began that it was terminating its lease with the Coyotes at Gila River Arena. Previously named Glendale Arena and Jobing.com Arena, it has been home to the Coyotes since opening in December 2003. The Wings always have representation in the stands when they’re here –— one front row section, for example, had fans wearing Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg sweaters sitting across the aisle from a pair in Steve Yzerman and Nicklas Lidstrom sweaters. It’s a popular stop with Wings players, too, especially when the visit falls during colder months. The franchise wants to stay in Arizona and is attempting to build an arena in Tempe in time for the 2025-26 season.
Contact Helene St. James at email@example.com. Follow her on Twitter @helenestjames. Read more on the Detroit Red Wings and sign up for our Red Wings newsletter. Her book, The Big 50: The Detroit Red Wings is available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Triumph Books. Personalized copies available via her e-mail.