Energized Coyotes battle for OT win vs. Bruins, Nick Schmaltz scores game-winner

Jan 9, 2024, 11:52 PM | Updated: Jan 10, 2024, 12:43 am

Nick Schmaltz...

Nick Schmaltz #8 of the Arizona Coyotes celebrates with Clayton Keller #9 after scoring the game-winning goal in overtime against the Boston Bruins at Mullett Arena on January 09, 2024 in Tempe, Arizona. The Coyotes defeated the Bruins 4-3 in overtime. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

TEMPE — Nick Schmaltz lifted the puck off the inside of the post and in with less than a minute to go in overtime, giving the Arizona Coyotes a 4-3 victory over the Boston Bruins Tuesday in a packed Mullett Arena.

The Coyotes (20-17-2) entered their bout with the first-place Bruins (24-8-8) on a three-game skid at home in which they were outscored 15-4, prompting a meeting to discuss who they are as a team. They pride themselves on being tough to play every night, and head coach Andre Tourigny was pleased with his team’s relentless response.

It resulted in a highly energetic, physical performance against a top-tier veteran team in a back-and-forth game.

“We needed it,” Schmaltz said. “I mean, we were on a little skid there, three in a row. It’s a tough stretch for us in January and we know it’s kind of make or break for us. So we’re trying to do everything we can to get as many points in this month and put ourselves in a good spot going to the break.”

The Bruins led 1-0 and then 2-1. The Coyotes took a 3-2 lead in the opening minute of the third period, but it was relinquished on Boston’s second power-play goal of the night to tie it up. Clayton Keller, Dylan Guenther and Matias Maccelli scored Arizona’s goals in regulation.

In overtime, Boston’s David Pastrnak, who scored the game’s opening goal, had two breakaway chances in the 3-on-3. Coyotes goaltender Connor Ingram stopped the first, and Pastrnak’s second clanked off the pipe.

Bruins goaltender Linus Ullmark, who saved 32 shots, was helped off the ice in overtime, and his replacement, Jeremy Swayman, only saw one shot on net.

“Mistakes will happen, mistakes happened tonight, Pastrnak’s breakaway, this and that,” Tourigny said postgame. “That’s part of the game. That doesn’t define our game, what defines our game is how relentless we are, how hard we work, how passionate we are. And tonight that led to good result. I always say if we work that hard, results will take care of themselves. Not every night, but most nights.”

The Coyotes won both their games against the Bruins in Tempe this season, a notable feat for an emerging team in the playoff conversation near the halfway point. It is their first home sweep of Boston since 1998-99.

Schmaltz scored in his third straight game, and Guenther scored his second goal in as many games while providing an assist.

Guenther started the season with AHL Tucson until his emergency recall on Saturday to ease the loss of Jason Zucker to a three-game suspension.

The 2021 first-rounder was made aware his call-up could be short-lived, but he maintained his focus on the opportunity at hand. After scoring 10 goals in 29 AHL games, he scored in his NHL season debut Sunday before doing so again Tuesday.

And rookie Logan Cooley picked up the assist. Cooley to Guenther, first-round pick to first-round pick, 19-year-old to 20-year-old.

“He’s a shooter, so when you’re in the zone you’re looking for him in the slot, and luckily I found him and he does what he does best,” Cooley said.

Tourigny maintained it is not his decision what comes next for Guenther with Zucker set to return.

Guenther’s goal tied the game 2-2, the score after two periods.

Early in the third, Lawson Crouse’s breakaway was stuffed by Ullmark, but Maccelli was there for the put-back.

Jake DeBrusk scored with 10 seconds left on the power play to even the game with just under 15 minutes remaining.

Ingram made several critical saves down the stretch of regulation, notably a potential game-saver against Charlie Coyle with 2:28 on the clock.

Ingram finished with 30 saves.

The Bruins went 2-for-4 on the power play and the Coyotes 1-for-3. There were 38 penalty minutes and a handful of dust-ups in this one. Notably a fight between Arizona’s Liam O’Brien and Boston’s Trent Frederic broke out and resulted in O’Brien taking him down to the ice.

Brad Marchand spent four minutes in the box for cross-checking and unsportsmanlike conduct.

Coyotes schedule

The Coyotes have one more game in the homestand on Thursday against the Calgary Flames. They then hit the road for three contests against the Minnesota Wild, Flames and Vancouver Canucks.

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