Stepan’s late goal lifts Coyotes over Canucks
VANCOUVER, British Columbia — Derek Stepan scored with 58 seconds left in the third period, leading the Arizona Coyotes to a 2-1 victory over the Vancouver Canucks on Wednesday night.
Clayton Keller assisted on the winning goal and also scored in the first period for the Coyotes, who are 8-2-1 in their last 11 games.
Backup Darcy Kuemper made 16 saves in place of starter Antti Raanta, who missed the game due to injury.
Jussi Jokinen scored for the Canucks, who have lost four of their past five games and will likely be without star rookie Brock Boeser for the rest of the regular season after he injured his back against the New York Islanders on Monday night. Jacob Markstrom stopped 32 shots.
Tyler Motte, alone at the side of the net, missed a chance to put Vancouver ahead early in the third period as Nick Cousins deflected his shot to keep it 1-1. Motte got another chance from the slot, but Kuemper made the save.
The Coyotes dominated the shot clock and finally solved Markstrom with less than a minute to play. Keller found Stepan in the slot and he buried it past Markstrom to avoid overtime.
Vancouver appeared to have scored first in the opening period on a short-handed chance during an Arizona 5-on-3. With Daniel Sedin and Darren Archibald in the penalty box, Brandon Sutter sprung loose on a breakaway and appeared to go top corner on Kuemper. But video review revealed the puck had hit the crossbar.
Just as Sedin’s penalty expired, Markstrom made an incredible glove save on Oliver Ekman-Larsson’s shot, but the goalie couldn’t control the puck. Keller picked it out from under defenseman Alex Edler to score at 18:20.
On a delayed Arizona penalty and Markstrom pulled for an extra attacker for almost a full minute, Jokinen scored his first for Vancouver with a one-timer off a corner feed from Brendan Leipsic that tied it at 1 after the first period.
Arizona had the majority of chances in an uneventful second period, with the Canucks mustering only four shots on goal to the Coyotes’ nine. Vancouver’s Jake Virtanen missed on a wide-open net. At the other end, Coyotes veteran Brad Richardson hit the post on a partial breakaway.
NOTES: Coyotes defenseman Alex Goligoski missed the game due to his wife expecting their second child.
Coyotes: at Colorado on Saturday.
Canucks: vs. Minnesota on Friday night.