Defensive meltdowns costly, Yotes fall 7-4 to Sens

By Jesse Bonello

NHL: Arizona Coyotes at Ottawa Senators
Ottawa Senators center Zack Smith scores a goal against Arizona Coyotes goalie Mike Smith in the second period at the Canadian Tire Centre. Mandatory Credit: Marc DesRosiers-USA TODAY Sports

Defensive meltdowns by the Arizona Coyotes prove to be costly as they dropped the first of their six-game road trip, 7-4, to the Ottawa Senators.

The Coyotes took the lead early when Tobias Rieder buried the Dylan Strome rebound, giving Strome his first career NHL point in his debut. However, the feat was short lived. Defensive meltdowns helped Ottawa respond with two goals in less than three minutes.

The Coyotes showed some bright spots offensively. Martinook and Ekman-Larsson accounted for three of the teams four goals, with Martinook scoring twice.

The Coyotes just didn’t get the job done defensively, plain and simple. The Senators were able to pounce on bad defensive turnovers, and the ‘Yotes failed to clear the puck in front of the net.

To make matters worse, Arizona goaltender Mike Smith was helped off the ice in the third period after getting tangled up while trying to make a save in the crease. Smith didn’t return to the game.

Louis Domingue came in the game, and allowed three goals on just 11 shots.

If the injury is serious, and if Arizona is really trying to pursue Jets defensemen Jacob Trouba, the Coyotes might want to include goaltender Ondrej Pavelec in a potential deal.

The Coyotes’ road trip continues this Thursday when they head to Montreal to take on the Canadiens. Puck drop is at 7:30 p.m. EST.

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