Coyotes defeat Islanders for 3rd straight win at Mullett Arena
TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) — Travis Boyd knocked in his own rebound early in the third period to break a tie and Clayton Keller added his second goal of the game late as the Arizona Coyotes held on to beat the New York Islanders 5-4 on Friday night.
Shayne Gostisbehere and Nick Bjugstad also scored for the Coyotes, who have won four straight home games — three since concluding a 14-game, 33-day road trip last week. Karel Vejmelka had 30 saves in his fourth straight start.
“I just took it to the blue paint and was able to smack in the rebound,” Boyd said. “It was a big one for me. Going through a little cold streak, it is always nice to get one. Hopefully I can get on a little bit of a roll.”
Mathew Barzal had a goal and an assist, and Sebastian Aho, Anthony Beauvillier and Noah Dobson also scored for the Islanders, who are 1-3-1 in their last five. Oliver Wahlstrom had two assists Ilya Sorokin finished with 24 saves.
Keller has five goals in his last three games, and both his goals in this game were redirected into the net after hitting Islanders defenders. His second-period goal caromed off Scott Mayfield’s skate, and he gave the Coyotes a 5-3 lead with 5:11 left after his shot appeared to hit Alexander Romanov in the groin region.
“There were a few pretty goals, but there were a lot of deflections, rebounds. Traffic. It was that kind of a game on both sides, a heavy game,” Coyotes coach Andre Tourigny said. “We created a lot of offense off our forecheck, and they did the same.”
The Islanders wasted little time or energy in taking an early lead. Aho beat Vejmelka with a slap shot from above the left circle just 1:41 into the game on New York’s first shot.
Barzal made it 2-0 lead when he slipped in a rebound after Robin Salo’s slap shot from the left point with 6:27 left in the opening period. Barzal, fifth in the NHL with 27 in assists, scored his third goal — all in the last 13 games.
Gostisbehere cut it to 2-1 when he picked up an attempted clearing pass and put a wrist shot from the the slot through traffic with 44 seconds remaining in the first. He scored 3 seconds after a high-sticking penalty to Beauvillier expired but before the Islanders’ forward could get back into the play.
The Coyotes scored twice in a 14-second span midway through the second to take a 3-2 lead. Keller scored first, when his wrist shot from the left circle caromed in off Mayfield at 8:55. Bjugstad followed after the ensuing face-off on a one-timer from the left circle for his seventh.
Dobson scored an unassisted goal to tie it at 3-3 with 2:15 left in the second period. It was his second goal in two games.
Boyd put the Coyotes ahead for good at 2:08 of the third.
Keller’s 29 points are the most for a Coyotes player in the first 28 games of the season since had Ladislav Nagy had 30 in 2003-04.
The Coyotes host the Buffalo Sabres on Saturday night at 7 p.m. on ESPN 620 AM / 98.7 FM HD-2, the Arizona Sports app and ArizonaSports.com.