Devils Beat Coyotes in Shootout – Arizona’s Playoff Hopes Dim

NEWARK, N.J. — Coleman and Pavel Zacha scored in the fifth and sixth rounds of the shootout and New Jersey Devils hurt Arizona’s playoff chances with a 2-1 victory Saturday, sending the Coyotes to their fourth straight loss.

Drew Stafford scored in regulation for New Jersey, and MacKenzie Blackwood made 23 saves in regulation and stopped five of six chances in the shootout.

Oliver Ekman-Larsson scored for Arizona while Darcy Kuemper had 31 saves.

Coleman scored the first shootout goal with a forehand, but Conor Garland forced another round scoring on a backhander. Zacha beat Kuemper between the pads and Richard Panik failed to respond for the Coyotes.

New Jersey Devils MacKenzie Blackwood Arizona Coyotes Alex Galchenyuk
New Jersey Devils goaltender MacKenzie Blackwood stops a shootout shot by Arizona Coyotes center Alex Galchenyuk. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

Arizona had two great chances to win on a power play in overtime, with Derek Stepan and Clayton Keller both hitting goalposts.

Kuemper kept the Coyotes in the game in the last two periods of regulation, stopping 22 shots as the Devils had five power plays. He had two saves in close on Coleman and another on Nico Hischier in the final seven minutes.

Arizona defenceman Niklas Hjalmarsson also batted a floating puck away from goal in the waning minutes.

Ekman-Larsson opened the scoring with a wrist shot from the point 2:31 after the opening faceoff.

Stafford tied the game with just under three minutes left in the period with his second goal in two games. His shot from the left circle went between Kuemper’s pads, and he looked to the rafters after it went in.

Kuemper made up for the mistake in the second period, stopping 10 shots, including eight on the Devils’ four power plays in the period.

Both teams had players returning from injury. The Coyotes’ Stepan missed 10 games with a lower-body injury. Back for New Jersey were Hischier, Kyle Palmieri, Miles Wood, John Queeneville and defenceman Sami Vatanen and Mirco Mueller.

NOTES: Devils D Will Butcher missed his second straight game with an illness. … Devils placed F Blake Pietila on waivers on Friday. He was not claimed. … The Devils recognized recently retired longtime off-ice official Vin Godleski. He stepped in and was a lineman in Game 4 of the 1988 Wales Conference Final between the Devils and Bruins after NHL officials refused to work the game because New Jersey had taken legal action to allow Jim Schoefeld to coach the game despite a league suspension.


Coyotes: play New York Islanders at the Nassau Colisuem on Sunday afternoon.

Devils: Host Buffalo Sabres on Monday night, finishing a four-game homestand.


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Tom Canavan, The Associated Press