Coyotes upend Penguins behind goals from Jason Zucker, Juuso Valimaki

Jan 22, 2024, 10:53 PM | Updated: Jan 23, 2024, 8:45 am

Alexander Kerfoot #15 of the Arizona Coyotes celebrates with Jason Zucker...

Alexander Kerfoot #15 of the Arizona Coyotes celebrates with Jason Zucker #16 and Lawson Crouse #67 after scoring a goal against goaltender Tristan Jarry #35 of the Pittsburgh Penguins during the second period of the NHL game at Mullett Arena on January 22, 2024 in Tempe, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

TEMPE — Connor Ingram was staunch in net and Jason Zucker had a goal and an assist against his old team to lead the Arizona Coyotes to a 5-2 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins Monday at Mullett Arena.

Ingram stopped 25 of 27 shots to improve his .919 save percentage coming into the game, which ranked seventh in the NHL.

His highlight was when he shut down Sidney Crosby trying to go five-hole on a breakaway in the first period.

Logan Cooley set up Zucker for the first goal of the night.

Cooley slashed the puck one-handed right in front of the net for a streaking Zucker who popped it just under the crossbar two minutes into the game.

Zucker picked up his second point on the Coyotes’ third goal, feeding Alex Kerfoot for the assist.

For Zucker it was extra sweet scoring against the team he played parts of four seasons with before joining the Coyotes.

“We all want to make our mark on this league,” Zucker said. “When you move on from a team — whether it’s a trade or re-signing somewhere else — there’s always a little bit there.”

Lars Eller stuffed in a tying goal in the second period for Pittsburgh. The hockey puck just barely rolled into the net after Ingram got a piece of the shot attempt.

The Penguins tied the game twice but never really threatened to take control.

Crosby eventually got his goal, chopping in a one-timer from defenseman Erik Karlsson on a power play to tie things up late in the second, but that was all the Penguins could muster.

“I think we played a good 60 minutes,” head coach Andre Tourigny said. “I think we played well all game. There was no part of the game where I said ‘Oh, we lost our game there for a little bit.'”

Juuso Valimaki gave the Coyotes their second goal of the game midway through the second period on a backdoor feed from Clayton Keller.

It was Valimaki’s first goal of the season and his first game action since Jan. 7. He was inserted back into the lineup after it was announced Monday that Troy Stecher would miss 4-6 weeks with a lower-body injury.

“I liked his game, he was really assertive, made plays,” Tourigny said.

Valimaki was drafted in the first round of the 2017 draft and has 190 games of experience in the NHL.

Kerfoot’s goal gave Arizona a 3-2 lead going into the third.

The Coyotes were gifted a goal in the third period on the power play.

Pittsburgh sent goaltender Tristan Jarry to the bench during a delayed penalty, and Evgeni Malkin mishandled a pass from Kris Letang that slid into the Penguins’ own empty net. Lawson Crouse was credited with the goal.

Nick Bjugstad added the Coyotes’ fifth goal midway through the third to extend the lead to 5-2.

Up next

The Coyotes head to the Sunshine State for the front end of a back-to-back against the Florida Panthers on Wednesday at 5 p.m.

Catch the game on the Arizona Sports app and ESPN 620 AM.

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