GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) — Sam Gagner scored the lone goal in the shootout, helping the Arizona Coyotes snap a 10-game losing streak with a 3-2 victory over the Vancouver Canucks on Thursday night.
Mike Smith kept the Canucks off the scoreboard in the shootout after the Coyotes allowed two third-period goals to relinquish a 2-0 lead. Smith finished with 32 saves for Arizona, which hadn’t won since Feb. 9 at Chicago and hadn’t earned a victory at home since Jan. 8 against Winnipeg.
Tobias Rieder and B.J. Crombeen scored in regulation for the Coyotes, who have four straight wins at home over the Canucks, dating to last season.
Vancouver’s Eddie Lack stopped six shots in overtime, but couldn’t get to Gagner’s hard forehand in the shootout. Lack had 33 saves, and Chris Higgins and Radim Vrbata had goals for the Canucks.
Vrbata’s score came with 53 seconds left in regulation, forcing the overtime period. The former Coyotes right wing was cheered during a video tribute in the first period after spending the past five seasons with Arizona. But he stung his former team with the tying goal when his shot went through traffic in front of Smith, who slowed the puck before it found its way into the net.
Coyotes captain Shane Doan had a breakaway chance, but his shot was stopped by Lack 28 seconds into overtime. Lack also saved a breakaway from Rieder 30 seconds later.
Three days after being picked up off waivers by Arizona, Crombeen gave the Coyotes a two-goal lead at 2:31 of the third period.
Higgins put in a backhand after collecting a pass from Jannik Hansen at 12:21 of the third to cut Vancouver’s deficit to 2-1.
Rieder opened the scoring at 19 minutes of the first period, stuffing in a high shot from Gagner that bounced off the end boards and landed in front of the net. It was Rieder’s 10th goal of the season.
The Coyotes’ penalty-kill unit stymied the Canucks for six minutes in the first period, and Arizona could have taken the lead sooner had Doan put in a short-handed backhand opportunity during one Vancouver’s power plays.
The Canucks got more active on offense in the second period, but faltered on several good scoring chances. Alexandre Burrows missed a rebound attempt at 6:14 of the period, and the Canucks had Smith out of the net at 9:53 but had two shots blocked.
Smith saved a clear shot from Nick Bonino minutes later.
NOTES: The Coyotes sported their original black Kachina-pattern sweaters they wore from 1996-2003 as part of a Throwback Night promotion. It was the first time the Coyotes have worn a throwback jersey in an NHL game. … Fans also received Jeremy Roenick bobbleheads, and the Coyotes original dropped the ceremonial first puck with former teammates Nikolai Khabibulin, Greg Adams, Craig Janney, Keith Carney and Sean Burke. “It’s one of those cool things,” Roenick said of the old multicolored coyote logo. “It’s probably so ugly that it’s beautiful. It grew on me.” … This was the third of five meetings between the teams this season, with the previous two being lopsided wins for each side in Canada. … Doan is tied for 39th on the NHL’s career list for games played, and is second among active players in career games.
This article was written by JOSE M. ROMERO from The Associated Press and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.