Coyotes survive rally to hand Devils 10th straight loss, 5-4
GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) — Arizona goalie Mike Smith had a short summation for the Coyotes’ 5-4 victory over the New Jersey Devils.
“We didn’t blow it totally,” he said.
The Coyotes blew open an early four-goal lead but needed a late goal from rookie Anthony DeAngelo and a big save by Smith on Taylor Hall’s penalty shot Saturday night to preserve the win.
Two other Arizona rookies — Jakob Chychrun and Brendan Perlini — scored to help send New Jersey to its 10th consecutive defeat.
The Devils took some solace in their near-miss comeback.
“I think guys are continually motivated,” coach John Hynes said. “We’ve gone through a real tough stretch here just in the sense where we haven’t been able to get a win. ... We have to find a way to continue that perseverance and mental toughness to play hard and play the right way but also find a way to win.”
DeAngelo’s goal, a patient shot through traffic from the slot, put Arizona up 5-3 before John Moore’s backhanded upper-shelf shot past Smith cut it to 5-4 with 4:58 remaining.
Smith preserved the victory by blocking Hall’s penalty shot with 2:38 to play.
Hall took aim at the five-hole — right between the goalie’s legs — as he has often in the pair’s many run-ins.
“I don’t know how many times I’ve scored, four or five times, five-hole on Smith,” Hall said.
Not this time.
“I don’t know what his move was,” Smith said, “but I’ve played against him for quite a few years now. You try and be patient and make him make the first move. I was fortunate to make a save there.”
Devils goalie Cory Schneider was lifted after allowing four goals on 10 shots in the first 24:13 of the game.
Smith had 26 saves. Schneider’s replacement, Keith Kincaid, had 20 saves on 21 shots.
Schneider left after Perlini’s sizzling one-timer from the top of the left circle on a power play 3:59 into the second period.
The Coyotes were up 2-0 before the game was three minutes old.
The first came 1:27 into the game when Radim Vrbata took a pass from Max Domi in front of the net and tapped it past Schneider. Hynes challenged that Arizona was offside on the play but the goal was upheld.
A nearly identical score followed 1:26 later, this time the pass was from Jordan Martinook found Rieder open in front of the net. Rieder knocked it into the open left side of the net for his career-best 15th goal of the season and it was 2-0.
Arizona made it a three-goal first period, again from in front of the net. The power-play goal by Chychrun, with an assist by Rieder, made it three scores in eight first-period shots for the Coyotes. It was only the fourth power-play goal in the past 41 tries.
Shortly after Schneider’s exit, the Devils got a power-play goal from Kyle Palmieri with a pretty assist from Hall to make it 4-1.
New Jersey got its second goal when the puck skipped over the stick of Arizona’s Luke Schenn and right to Beau Bennett, who shot the puck high into the left corner of the net, over the goalie, to make it 4-2 with 7:51 still to play in the second period.
Just 17 seconds into the third period, Palmieri scored his second of the game to cut the lead to 4-3.
“We got up and we made some good plays to get up,” Arizona coach Dave Tippett said. “Then we made some mistakes to let them back into it. Smitty had to make a big save at the end of it. A win is a win, we move on.”
NOTES: New Jersey center Travis Zajac was with his wife for the birth Saturday of the couple’s daughter Anya Zia. ... Devils defenseman Andy Greene was back after missing three games for personal reasons. ... New Jersey has been outscored 28-15 in its losing streak. ... Vrbata pulled ahead of Jeremy Roenick and Laurie Boschman into eighth in the Coyotes all-time scoring list with 153 goals. ... Rieder has two goals and four assists in his past five games.
Devils: Host Winnipeg on Tuesday night.
Coyotes: Host Colorado on Monday night.