Coyotes beat Islanders in SO, snap 9-game losing streak
GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) — The team with the fewest wins in the NHL picked up a much-needed one Saturday night.
The Arizona Coyotes rallied to force overtime, survived the 3-on-3 extra sesssion and got shootout goals from Anthony Duclair and Radim Vrbata in their 2-1 win over the New York Islanders, snapping a nine-game losing streak.
“We needed it. We needed it a week ago, probably,” Vrbata said.
Louis Domingue stopped 27 shots after getting the start in the second game of a back-to-back set, and knocked away Andrew Ladd’s attempt in the second round of the shootout to end the game.
Seconds earlier, Vrbata beat Thomas Greiss with a forehand shot, going away from his signature shootout backhand. Vrbata’s 44th career shootout goal set a new NHL record.
“You have to have other options, and I was watching what he was doing on (Duclair’s) attempt,” Vrbata said. “He (Greiss) came out far, pretty far, and once I got going I could see he was out again.”
The Coyotes (12-22-6) are 4-1 in shootout games this season.
“We’re not trying to get it to there, but if it gets to there, we feel like we have people that can score,” Coyotes coach Dave Tippett said.
Brendan Perlini scored in the third period to tie the score for the Coyotes, who were 0-8-1 in their previous nine and won for the first time since a 3-2 shootout victory at Toronto on Dec. 15.
Arizona also put an end to a five-game losing streak at home. The Coyotes’ most recent victory at Gila River Arena came on Dec. 10, 4-1 over Nashville.
Alan Quine scored and Greiss stopped 24 shots for New York, which has earned at least a point in six of its last seven games.
The Islanders’ Shane Prince had a shot hit the post and another ping off the crossbar in the 3-on-3 overtime, which was dominated by New York with a 6-1 shots advantage.
“The overtime for us was probably the best overtime we have played all year, and we still can’t win a game,” Islanders coach Jack Capuano said.
Perlini deflected Connor Murphy’s shot into the net with 5:55 left in the third. That came moments after Tobias Rieder hit the crossbar with what would have been the tying goal on a short-handed breakaway.
The Islanders scored the game’s first goal with 4:25 left in the second. Domingue went behind the net to clear the puck, but his pass went right to Johnny Boychuk, whose shot was re-directed past Domingue by Quine for his third goal of the season.
“I saw an opening there and thought I’d make a quick pass, but bottom line, they tipped it,” Domingue said. “So it’s a lucky goal but we found a way to bounce back and it shows a lot of character from our group.”
New York had a 5-on-3 power play for 31 seconds late in the second period but couldn’t take advantage.
The Coyotes missed a good chance to break a scoreless tie with just under four minutes left in the first period. A flurry of activity in front of the Islanders’ net saw at least four chances at a goal, including a mis-hit puck by Rieder.
Ladd was called for both tripping and slashing and went to the penalty box twice before the period was over.
The Coyotes honored captain Shane Doan in a pregame ceremony for scoring his 400th career goal and for having reached 1,500 career NHL games played, both on Dec. 23.
NOTES: Boychuk played in his 500th career NHL game. ... Islanders D Travis Hamonic left the ice in the second period after a knee-on-knee collision, but returned before the period was over. ... F Stephen Gionta, D Adam Pelech and F Anthony Beauvillier were scratched for New York. ... Arizona recalled F Laurent Dauphin from Tucson of the AHL in time for Saturday’s game. Dauphin had appeared in 20 games this season for the Coyotes. ... D Anthony DeAngelo served the last game of his three-game suspension for physical abuse of an official. Also scratched were C Martin Hanzal (lower-body injury) and F Jordan Martinook (upper-body injury). Both are considered day-to-day. ... Tippett said F Max Domi will skate Sunday morning as he works his way back from a broken hand. Domi has been out for almost a month.
Islanders: Host Florida on Wednesday night in the first of a home-and-home set against the Panthers.
Coyotes: Host Winnipeg on Friday night in the second game of a three-game homestand.