Stamkos scores 2 in 3rd period, Lightning beat Coyotes 4-3
GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) — Steve Stamkos scored twice in the third period, and Brayden Point and Corey Perry added goals as the Tampa Bay Lightning beat the Arizona Coyotes 4-3 on Friday night.
Brian Elliott made 15 saves in his second start since Dec. 31 as Tampa Bay (31-11-6) rebounded from a 3-2 loss to Colorado on Thursday. The Lightning have not lost consecutive games this season and are 5-0-1 in the second game of back-to-backs.
“That’s kind of been in our DNA for a while now,” Stamkos said. “You look at our last playoff runs, we’ve always bounced back after a loss.
“Especially back-to-backs. We didn’t have the best start against Colorado. It doesn’t linger because we get a chance to come out. We came in here and got the win after a game we weren’t really happy with last night.”
Clayton Keller had a goal and an assist, and Alex Galchenyuk and Nick Schmaltz also scored for the Coyotes. Karel Vejmelka made 26 saves.
Keller’s goal at 9:54 of the third period went through Elliott’s legs and made it 3-2 before Stamkos skated in alone and scored to make it 4-2 less than three minutes later.
“Stammer came up with a couple of big goals to put us over the edge there,” Elliott said. “You could tell the gas was kind of running on empty at the end. We pushed forward.”
Schmaltz brought the Coyotes within one at 4-3 with 1:38 remaining, a minute after the Coyotes pulled Vejmelka to get an extra skater, but the Coyotes failed to get another shot as they were punned in their zone for the most of the final minute.
Point had his second goal in as many games and has eight in his last 14 contests.
“Veteran team,” Tampa Bay coach Jon Cooper said.
“We had a really energetic game last night, and when you come away with zero points, you don’t want to go home that way. Pretty proud group, and they showed it tonight.”
Vejmelka made his fourth straight start in the last 10 days.
Galchenyuk has four goals in the last five games, and Keller has five in his last nine. Galchenyuk missed the first 13 games with an upper body injury and failed to score in his first 23 after returning.
“It’s like that feeling when you’re a kid and you’re playing and you’re not thinking,” Keller said. “You’re having fun and that’s what I’m doing right now. When I do that, I’m a good hockey player.”
The Lightning peppered Vejmelka from the opening face-off, putting two shots on net in the first 20 seconds and having another hit the post before breaking through Point’s goal.
Point took the puck from his end and weaved through the defense, beating Vejmelka on a wrist shot to the glove side from the slot 3:30 of the first period.
Perry got the final touch in the crease on a centering pass from Pat Maroon that was first tipped by Ryan McDonough for a 2-0 at 17:11 of the period.
“They are big, they are fast, they play well. There’s no space.” Arizona coach Andre Tourigny said.
Galchenyuk scored two minutes later when he put home a rebound after Elliott saved but could not control Janis Moser’s shot from the right point.
The Coyotes’ best chances in the first period were not recorded as shots on goal.
Galchenyuk’s shot hit the post 12 minutes into the first period, and Jacob Chychrun was denied a goal a minute later when he slid the puck behind Elliott, but it did not completely cross the red line.
The teams combined for nine shots in a scoreless second period.
NOTES: The Coyotes began a stretch of eight straight home games Friday, the fourth-longest stretch in franchise history. They do not play again until next Saturday. ... Tampa Bay G Andrei Vasilevskiy was given the night off after starting four straight and 13 of the last 14. He is tied for the league lead with 27 wins. … Arizona G Scott Wedgwood (lower body) missed his third straight game. … Coyotes F Phil Kessel and Islanders F Zach Parise are in a race to become the 11th U.S.-born player to reach 400 career goals. Each has 397. … Kessel skated in his 948th consecutive game, the second-longest active streak behind Keith Yandle (968).
Tampa Bay: At New Jersey on Tuesday, the last of a three-game trip.
Arizona: Hosts Los Angeles on Feb. 19.
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