Coyotes surrender go-ahead goal in 3rd period vs. Avalanche to drop 9th straight game

Feb 18, 2024, 7:24 PM

Arizona Coyotes defenseman Matt Dumba...

Arizona Coyotes defenseman Matt Dumba, left, fights for position with Colorado Avalanche left wing Artturi Lehkonen, second from left, as the puck flies past Coyotes goaltender Karel Vejmelka, right, in the second period of an NHL hockey game Sunday, Feb. 18, 2024, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

(AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

DENVER (AP) — Devon Toews scored the go-ahead goal with 6:35 remaining, Nathan MacKinnon had a goal and an assist to give him at least a point in all 26 home games and the Colorado Avalanche beat Arizona 4-3 on Sunday night, extending the Coyotes’ skid to nine in a row.

Colorado overcame two one-goal deficits in moving to a league-best 21-5 on home ice this season. Ross Colton and Jack Johnson also scored for the Avalanche.

Matt Dumba, Lawson Crouse and Logan Cooley scored for Arizona, which hasn’t won since Jan. 22. Karel Vejmelka made 33 saves. Crouse scored his 100th career goal.

Alexandar Georgiev stopped 28 shots for Colorado, including several in the final 80 seconds after Artturi Lehkonen was called for a tripping penalty and the Coyotes pulled their goaltender.

Both teams had potential go-ahead goals in the third period overturned for offsides on challenges. First, Alex Kerfoot’s goal was disallowed after a lengthy review. It was ruled he didn’t keep his skate onside before grabbing the puck out of the air on a breakaway.

About 30 seconds later, Jonathan Drouin’s goal was taken off the board when Arizona successfully challenged that Mikko Rantanen entered the offensive zone too soon.

Toews’ scored the winner with a wrist shot to the stick side of Vejmelka. The Coyotes nearly responded with 4:56 remaining, sending a puck into the net, only to have the whistle blow before it slid by Georgiev.

A big moment in the game came late in the second period, when Colorado had a four-minute power play after Mackinnon was hit by Adam Ruzicka’s stick on his already broken nose that drew blood. The Coyotes weathered the storm to keep the game tied at 3.

Arizona was outshot in the middle period by a 21-5 margin. Still, the team took a momentary lead on Cooley’s score. It lasted all of 21 seconds before MacKinnon scored the equalizer when he whacked at a loose puck several times at the goal line, before knocking it past the leg pad of Vejmelka. The Coyotes challenged the play for goaltender interference, but the ruling of a goal was upheld. They were 5-for-5 in challenges heading into the game.

MacKinnon extended his point streak this season at Ball Arena with a second-period goal. His home point streak is the second-longest to open a season in NHL history, trailing only Wayne Gretzky’s 40-game mark, set during the 1988-89 season with the Los Angeles Kings.

The Coyotes head home to face the Edmonton Oilers Monday at 2 p.m. on 98.7 and the Arizona Sports app.

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