The Arizona Coyotes had one of their best games of the season on Friday to knock the Vegas Golden Knights from the ranks of the undefeated and earn a chance at a four-game split with a 5-2 win.
Arizona previously lost one game against the Golden Knights after having a two-goal lead and were blown out in another.
This unique NHL season has some strange quirks to the schedule, so the Coyotes got a quick chance at payback.
Conor Garland had a goal and an assist, while Darcy Kuemper stopped 29 shots as the Coyotes handed the Golden Knights their first loss of the season.
“For us to come out and win was huge,” Garland said. “You don’t want to lose three in a row to the same team.”
The Coyotes were sharp after being drubbed two nights earlier in Las Vegas.
Photo: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY
Kuemper made some spectacular saves and Arizona got contributions throughout the lineup after losing the first two games of four straight against the Golden Knights.
Nick Schmaltz scored for the third straight game and had an assist. Christian Dvorak also had a goal and an assist. Derick Brassard scored his first of the season and Jordan Oesterle closed it out with an empty-net goal.
“It was good resiliency,” Coyotes coach Rick Tocchet said. “That’s a tough team to play.”
Vegas’ Shea Theodore scored his third goal in two games and had an assist. Cody Glass scored his first goal and Robin Lehner allowed four goals on 25 shots for the Golden Knights (4-1), who had been off to the best start in the franchise’s four-year history.
“They played a great defensive game and we didn’t execute well,” Theodore said. “We can be a lot better defensively, especially in transition, and they took it to us tonight.”
In Anaheim, California, Gabriel Landeskog scored 1 minute, 38 seconds into overtime and Mikko Rantanen extended his goal-scoring streak to four games as the Colorado Avalanche topped the Anaheim Ducks 3-2 on Friday.
Landeskog was initially stopped by Anaheim goaltender John Gibson on a breakaway, but he got his own rebound and converted a wraparound for his third goal of the season.
Joonas Donskoi also scored for Colorado, while Phillip Grubauer stopped 36 shots.
Hampus Lindholm and Adam Henrique got their first goals of the season for Anaheim. Gibson made 30 saves.
The game went to overtime after the teams traded goals during an 82 second span in the third period.
Rantanen gave Colorado a 2-1 lead at 6:20 with a one-timer in front of the goal after a great pass from rookie defenseman Bowen Byram.
Rantanen has four goals and two assists in his past four games.
Byram, who was the fourth-overall pick in the 2019 draft, picked up his first NHL point in his second game.
Henrique tied it again at 7:42 after Danton Heinen fed him with a centering pass. Donskoi got the Avalanche on the board with a power-play goal 2:56 into the game.
The left winger put it into the short side of the net after Samuel Girard’s pass caught Gibson out of position.
Lindholm evened it 47 seconds into the second with a one-timer that Grubauer was unable to get his glove on.
In Dallas, Texas, Anton Khudobin stared upward before Dallas’ delayed season opener on Friday, watching as the Stars’ Western Conference championship banner was unveiled high above the ice.
The goaltender then stopped 34 shots in his first season-opening start as Dallas scored five power-play goals in a 7-0 win over the Nashville Predators.
“First game, it was emotional at the start,” said Khudobin, who later heard his name chanted by the 4,214 fans in attendance for what was his 100th career regular-season win and ninth shutout. “Unbelievable... That was a special moment.”
Joe Pavelski had two goals and two assists, while Alexander Radulov also scored twice for the Stars, who had a scoreless first period.
Joel Kiviranta had a goal and an assist.
Five of Dallas’ goals came in the second, including three on the power play and an unassisted short-handed wrist shot by Esa Lindell.
“Too many easy shots got through and they made some nice tip plays, credit to them in that situation when they made them,” Nashville coach John Hynes said.
Elsewhere, the Washington Capitals beat the Buffalo Sabres 4-3 in a shoot-out, the Pittsburgh Penguins beat the New York Rangers also 4-3 in a shoot-out, the Toronto Maple Leafs beat the Edmonton Oilers 4-2, the Chicago Blackhawks defeated the Detroit Red Wings 4-1 and the Minnesota Wild downed the San Jose Sharks 4-1.
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