Grabner scores in OT to give Coyotes 5th straight win
GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) — Facing a Carolina Hurricanes team that leads the league in shots per game, the Arizona Coyotes needed every one of goalie Antti Raanta’s career high 48 saves. They also needed overtime after giving up a three-goal lead.
Michael Grabner scored 1:17 into the extra period to lift the Coyotes to their fifth straight win, 4-3 over the Hurricanes on Friday night.
Grabner credited his goalie after the victory.
“He’s been playing great all year. A lot of big saves, and that kept us in the game in the second and third period,” Grabner said. “We have to thank him for that.”
Brad Richardson, Brendan Perlini and Nick Cousins scored first-period goals for a 3-0 lead that Arizona gave up in the third period. However, Grabner put in Clayton Keller’s pass for the victory early in overtime.
The Coyotes’ current winning streak is their longest since Oct. 26-Nov. 5, 2013.
Alex Goligoski assisted on Arizona’s first three goals, a short-handed score, a power-play goal and a 5-on-5 tally before the first period had ended. Goligoski and Richardson have scored at least one point in four straight games.
The Hurricanes tied it at 3 with a pair of deflected shots that caromed into the net late in the third period. Andrei Svechnikov scored with 6:18 remaining and Jordan Staal added the equalizer 40 seconds later.
“We didn’t have the perfect game but we battled hard and got the two points,” Raanta said.
“We looked tired,” Coyotes coach Rick Tocchet said. “I thought the veterans won us the game tonight.”
Petr Mrazek had 21 saves for the Hurricanes, who registered 51 shots, well over their league-leading average of 41.7 per game.
Carolina center Sebastian Aho came up short in his quest to set an NHL record for consecutive games with an assist, his streak ending at 12.
Former Coyotes player Jordan Martinook scored the Hurricanes’ first goal at 10:34 of the second period.
“We can’t give ourselves a hole that we have to dig out of,” Martinook said. “One point’s huge ... We get to overtime and we had our chances, and obviously they capitalized on theirs.”
Richardson’s short-handed goal, with 6:53 left in first, was his NHL-leading third such goal of the season and fourth overall. Arizona’s seven short-handed goals as a team also leads the league, and the Coyotes became the sixth team in NHL history to score short-handed in four straight games.
“We’re not going to keep scoring at this type of pace, it’s insane,” Richardson said. “We’re just happy to kill the plays off and if we happen to score, it’s good.”
The Coyotes made it 2-0 with 4:03 left in the opening period while on their second power play of the game. Perlini skated through three defenders and slipped a backhand shot past Mrazek.
It took only 55 seconds to make it 3-0, as Nick Cousins beat Mrazek glove side for his first of the season.
The NHL’s second-best penalty kill unit by percentage (90.6) going into Friday, the Coyotes did not allow a goal in six Hurricanes power plays.
“It was a pretty good 50-minute effort, unfortunately we know we need to play the whole game,” Carolina coach Rod Brind’Amour said.
NOTES: Coyotes D Kevin Connauton was scratched due to illness. Connauton missed his second straight game. ... Raanta appeared in his 150th career game. ... The crowd roared when Coyotes D Ilya Lyubushkin laid out to block Dougie Hamilton’s shot with his skate in the second period, with Raanta out of the net. ... Martinook was in the starting lineup against his former team and acknowledged the crowd when welcomed back by the public address announcer. ... Hurricanes C Victor Rask has now missed every game this season with an injured hand.
Hurricanes: At Vegas on Saturday night.
Coyotes: Host Philadelphia on Monday night.