Bjugstad and Schmaltz score in shootout, Coyotes beat Devils

Oct 13, 2023, 7:33 PM

Nick Bjugstad #17 and the Arizona Coyotes celebrate victory over the New Jersey Devils at Prudentia...

Nick Bjugstad #17 and the Arizona Coyotes celebrate victory over the New Jersey Devils at Prudential Center on October 13, 2023 in Newark, New Jersey. The Coyotes defeated the Devils 4-3 in the shootout. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

(Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

NEWARK, N.J. — Nick Bjugstad and Nick Schmaltz scored in the shootout, and the Arizona Coyotes recovered after giving up a two-goal lead and rallied to beat the New Jersey Devils 4-3 on Friday night.

Schmaltz also had a goal and an assist in regulation, and Matt Dumba and Sean Durzi also scored for the Coyotes in their regular season opener. Rookie forward Logan Cooley had two assists in his NHL debut and Karel Vejmelka made 33 saves.

Jesper Bratt had two goals and an assist, Dougie Hamilton had a goal and an assist, and Jack Hughes had three assists for New Jersey, which lost one night after beating Detroit at home 4-3 in its opener. Akira Schmid finished with 30 saves.

Bjugstad and Schmaltz scored on Arizona’s two attempts in the shootout, and Vejmelka stopped New Jersey’s Timo Meier and Bratt to secure the win.

Dumba opened the scoring at 6:22 of the first, rifling a shot past Schmid. Dumba made his Coyotes debut after signing as a free agent following 10 seasons with Minnesota.

Durzi made it 2-0 on the power-play at 4:23 of the second, but the Devils then scored three goals in an 11-minute span to take the lead.

Bratt got New Jersey on the scoreboard at 8:09, sending a pass from Hughes past Vejmelka, and Hamilton tied it with his second goal in two nights with 7:31 left in the middle period.

Bratt got his second goal of the game with 1:07 remaining to put New Jersey ahead 3-2.

Schmaltz converted on the power-play with 6:05 left in the third to tie it again off a pass from Cooley.

Hughes, who led the Devils with 43 goals and 99 points last season, now has five points in two games after scoring twice the previous night.

The Coyotes added six free agents during the offseason including forwards Dumba, Bjugstad, Jason Zucker, and Alex Kerfoot, and defensemen Travis Dermott and Troy Stecher. Arizona acquired Durzi with a trade with the Los Angeles Kings.

NOTES: The teams meet again March 16 in Arizona. … New Jersey scratched D Chris Tierney, D Colin Miller and F Curtis Lazar. … Arizona scratched F Travis Boyd and Stecher.


Devils: Host Florida on Monday night.

Coyotes: At the New York Rangers on Monday night.

Arizona Coyotes

Utah Hockey Club rally...

Associated Press

Utah Hockey Club to debut Oct. 8 vs. Chicago

The Utah Hockey Club will play its first regular-season game Oct. 8 against Connor Bedard and the Chicago Blackhawks.

12 days ago

Mikhail Sergachev...

Arizona Sports

Utah Hockey Club makes major splash by trading for defensemen Sergachev, Marino

Utah Hockey Club general manager Bill Armstrong made two significant trades on the second day of the NHL Draft.

14 days ago

Detail of the Arizona Coyotes logo during the NHL game against the Vegas Golden Knights at Gila Riv...

Arizona Sports

Arizona Coyotes relinquish branding, naming rights back to NHL

Part of former Arizona Coyotes owner Alex Meruelo stepping away from the franchise incudes him relinquishing the brand rights to the NHL.

18 days ago

Fans hold up signs before the NHL game between the Edmonton Oilers and the Arizona Coyotes at Mulle...

Dan Bickley

Arizona Coyotes will return, prove how inept Alex Meruelo truly was

Alex Meruelo will be remembered as one of the worst owners in Arizona sports history after his failures with the Arizona Coyotes.

18 days ago

Jeremy Roenick speaking at Arizona Coyotes podium...

Payne Moses

Former Coyote Jeremy Roenick among 7 additions to Hockey Hall of Fame

Jeremey Roenick's joins seven others in the Hockey Hall of Fame's Class of 2024, ending his 12-year wait since first becoming eligible for induction.

18 days ago


Arizona Sports Video

Video: Bickley Blast: In a league full of skates, Alex Meruelo was the cheapest of them all

Dan Bickley reacts to news that Alex Meruelo is stepping away from his ownership of the Arizona Coyotes.

18 days ago

Bjugstad and Schmaltz score in shootout, Coyotes beat Devils