LAS VEGAS — Nick Cousins scored his first game-winning goal of the season and goaltender Darcy Kuemper made 41 saves to lead the Arizona Coyotes to a 5-2 victory over the Vegas Golden Knights on Tuesday night.
The Coyotes snapped an 0-3-1 slide on the road, while handing Vegas its fourth consecutive home loss, the second time in franchise history it’s lost four straight at T-Mobile Arena.
Arizona was the recipient of a wild bounce after Cousins’ initial shot was deflected wide. Vinnie Hinostroza collected the puck and fired it in front, where Cousins was there for a one-timer that slipped past Vegas goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury.
Kuemper improved to 8-2-3 since the calendar flip to 2019.
Jordan Oesterle, Alex Galchenyuk, Josh Archibald and Richard Panik also scored for Arizona.
Brandon Pirri and Nate Schmidt scored for Vegas, which is now 16-8-3 at home and has lost six of eight. Fleury, who made his league-leading 50th start of the season, made 21 saves.
The Coyotes broke a scoreless tie during a power play midway through the second period, as their nifty puck movement concluded with a cross-ice pass from Derek Stepan to Oesterle, who buried a wrist shot into a wide-open net. The Coyotes had just three power play goals in their previous 26 opportunities, spanning nine games, before Oesterle gave Arizona a 1-0 lead.
Galchenyuk made it 2-0 when he took a pass from Nick Cousins and broke free down the left side on a breakaway, deked Fleury to his left and slipped the puck into the net. Galchenyuk has had plenty of success against Pacific Division foes this season, with 14 points (5 goals, 9 assists) in 16 games. Galchenyuk leads the team in scoring since Dec. 20 with 19 points (9 goals, 10 assists).
Brandon Pirri ended his six-game drought 29 seconds later when he collected a pass from Cody Eakin and sniped Kuemper short side to cut Arizona’s lead in half. Pirri, who registered at least one point in 10 of his first 11 games, has nine goals in 18 games for the Golden Knights.
Shortly after Reilly Smith had a chance to tie the game for Vegas with a penalty shot, but clanked it off the post, Max Pacioretty delivered a beautiful pass through traffic to Schmidt, who found the back off the net with 30 seconds left in the second to make it 2-2. It was Schmidt’s 100th career point.
Archibald and Panik scored late to ice the game for Arizona.
NOTES: The Coyotes were on their annual “Dads Trip.” … Arizona’s Kevin Connauton played in his 300th career game. … Cousins’ 17 assists are a career high. … Stepan has registered three goals and four assists in eight career games against the Golden Knights. … Vegas’ Deryk Engelland played in his 599th career game. … Vegas’ Paul Stastny has at least one point in 14 of last 19 games (4 goals, 15 assists).
Arizona: Hosts St. Louis on Thursday.
Vegas: Hosts Toronto on Thursday.
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W.G. Ramirez, The Associated Press