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Coyotes goalie Antti Raanta’s scorpion save might be best of year

Arizona Coyotes goaltender Antti Raanta (32) makes a kick-save against the Chicago Blackhawks as Coyotes center Carl Soderberg (34) and referee Jean Hebert, top center, looks on during the third period of an NHL hockey game Saturday, Feb. 1, 2020, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

The Arizona Coyotes fell 3-2 in a shootout to the Chicago Blackhawks on Saturday night, but goalie Antti Raanta did everything in his power to keep Arizona fighting as long as possible.

He might have made the save of the year late in the third period.

Blackhawks forward Kirby Dach streaked up the middle and put a shot on goal, but Raanta made a nice save. The puck was hit back out in front of the goal.

Raanta went down on his stomach, giving forward Brandon Saad an opening for his third goal of the game. But Raanta rose both of his skates in the air and managed to deflect the shot with his left foot.

Here’s another angle of the scorpion save, this one with the full play:

“At first, it was a close play and then the puck was bouncing and I got myself back to the middle of the crease,” Raanta said. “I was kind of sprawling there and I didn’t even know where the puck was anymore. Just an instinct. Instincts got me and I lift my legs, and luckily it hit the skates.”

That wasn’t his only excellent save. In overtime, Dominik Kubalik had a wide-open lane the entire way down the ice thanks to the 3-on-3 line. But Raanta was in position and casually caught it.

Raanta finished with 42 saves, one below his season-high.

“He just battled,” said Coyotes head coach Rick Tocchet. “That’s all you ask for a goalie, to battle. Don’t let them get that third goal. And that got us back in the game.”

Raanta helped the Coyotes earn a point despite falling in overtime.

“Obviously nice to get that kind of save and get us to the OT,” Raanta said. “But it doesn’t really warm you right now when you lose the game.”

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