All the momentum the Colorado Avalanche had built before the Christmas break dissipated on Tuesday night.
The Avalanche’s four-game winning streak ended with a thud as they were beaten by the lowly Arizona Coyotes 6-3 at 5,000 Mullett Arena in Tempe, AZ.
The Avalanche were 6-1-0 in its previous seven games, with five of the wins coming by one goal.
Shayne Gostisbehere, Lawson Crouse, Nick Schmaltz, J.J. Moser, Michael Carcone, and Clayton Keller scored goals for the Coyotes. Jakob Chychrun had three assists, and Crouse added two.
The Avalanche’s goals were scored by Evan Rodrigues, Cale Makar, and Mikko Rantanen. J.T. Compher assisted on two of the goals.
Valeri Nichushkin remained out of the lineup with an unspecified lower-body injury that he suffered last Friday in the win over the Nashville Predators in Nashville. He missed 17 games earlier this season with an ankle injury.
The Coyotes’ Gostisbehere opened the scoring at 3:55 of the first period with his ninth goal of the season.
However, the Avalanche answered Gostisbehere’s goal just 37 seconds left when Rodrigues converted a pass from Makar for a power-play goal, his eighth. Colorado scored on its first man advantage of the evening after going 2 for 24 on the power play in its previous nine games.
Crouse then put the Coyotes ahead for good at 2-1 when he scored an unassisted goal at 11:33 for his 14th of the season.
The Coyotes outscored the Avalanche 2-1 again in the second period to increase their lead to 4-2.
Arizona got a rare power-play goal when Schmaltz scored his seventh of the season at 5:59 on a rebound. Andreas Englund was off for slashing.
The Avalanche had killed 16 of 19 penalties over their previous nine games. The Coyotes were a putrid 5 for 56 with the man advantage in their last 17 games.
Makar drew the Avalanche to 3-2 at 11:23 with an unassisted goal, his eighth.
A few minutes later, Rantanen appeared to score the tying goal for the Avalanche. However, it was overturned by an offside call following a video review.
Arizona built a two-goal lead again when Moser found the back of the net with his fourth goal at 16:38.
The Coyotes then pushed its lead to 5-2 on a goal by Carcone, his fifth, at 3:24 of the third period. Rantanen answered for the Avalanche with his 24th at 5:24 but got no closer.
Keller capped the scoring on an empty netter with 56 remaining.
The Coyotes outshot the Avalanche 32-29. Connor Ingram made 26 saves for the win. Avalanche goaltender Alexandar Georgiev had his four-game winning streak end.
The Avalanche return home Thursday to host the Los Angeles Kings at 7 p.m. at Ball Arena. It will be the first meeting of the season between the teams.
Nathan MacKinnon is likely to return to the Avalanche lineup soon after missing the last nine games with an upper-body injury.
Also on Tuesday, Colorado Hockey Now welcomed new beat writer Evan Rawal, who is in training this week. He will be writing Avalanche stories this week but will be full-time beginning on Monday. Look for his analysis of the Avalanche loss.