TEMPE, Ariz. (AP)Nick Schmaltz and Clayton Keller scored in the shootout, and Connor Ingram stopped 47 shots for his first career shutout as the Arizona Coyotes beat the Tampa Bay Lightning 1-0 on Wednesday night.
Ingram made several stops on shots from point-blank range in the final 90 seconds of overtime and then stopped Steven Stamkos and Nikita Kucherov in the shootout as the Coyotes extended their season-high point streak to seven games (4-0-3), the longest such current streak in the league.
”No doubt about it,” Ingram said when asked if the shutout crossed his mind. ”I’m not going to lie to you. Especially near the end of the game you start thinking about it. How many kids can say they had a shutout in the NHL? That’s a life-long dream, and it definitely creeps in.”
Brian Elliott made 26 saves for Tampa Bay, which had won three in a row and six of eight. The Lightning came in off an emotional 4-3 overtime win at Colorado on Tuesday night in a rematch of the 2022 Stanley Cup Final.
The Coyotes split the season series against Tampa Bay and have beaten division leaders Boston, Carolina, Vegas and both 2022 Stanley Cup finalists at home in 5,000-seat Mullett Arena on the campus of Arizona State University. They are 12-8-2 at home.
”That team is an unbelievable team,” said Keller, who entered with nine points in his last four games. ”I love watching them play. When they have the puck they are fast. They defend hard. That’s what we want to be one day, and that is when you want to play your best, when you are playing an unbelievable team like that.”
The Coyotes’ Troy Stecher was penalized for hooking with 10 seconds left in overtime, and after a Tampa Bay timeout, Kucherov hit a post with 3 seconds remaining to send the game into a shootout. Kucherov beat Colorado with an overtime goal Tuesday.
Tampa Bay outshot the Coyotes 42-26 but had only five shots in the third period. The Lightning failed to convert on four power play opportunities.
”It doesn’t help when games go into overtime and you have to de-ice,” Elliott said of flying from Denver to Phoenix. ”It’s part of it. Sometimes that’s the fun of it as well. You can’t dwell on it. You have to embrace the challenge and go out there and try to win a game. We did a good job tonight. I though we generated a ton.”
The Lightning showed no early ill effects from their second game in two nights, outshooting the Coyotes 21-7 in a scoreless first period. Ingram faced 12 shots as the Coyotes killed two Lightning power plays, and the Lightning also hit a post. Ingram briefly played without a stick on the Lightning’s first power play.
”Ingy was outstanding,” Coyotes coach Andre Tourigny said. ”That’s the first step all the time, when you have great goaltending. We have an intensity, a commitment defensively. We battle hard. We fight in front of our net. There is nothing free.”
The Coyotes have killed 26 off the opponents’ last 27 power plays.
”It’s so many things, playing good defensively,” Tourigny said. ”People say it’s not difficult to play defensively. Yeah, it’s not difficult as long as you work at it for years. It’s not complicated but it’s a lot work. It’s chemistry. It’s getting better every day.”
Coyotes D Jakob Chychrun was a healthy scratch for the the third straight game. The NHL trade deadline is March 3. … Lightning F Nicholas Paul played in his 300th NHL game. … Tampa Bay is 3-6-1 in the second half of back-to-back games this season. The Lightning beat Colorado 4-3 in a shootout in Denver on Tuesday, and their flight arrived in Phoenix about 2:30 am Wednesday. … Coyotes D Shayne Gostisbehere (upper body) participated in the morning skate three weeks after injury that was expected to sideline him 4 to 6 weeks. He missed his seventh straight game but could be back within a week. … The Coyotes’ last seven-game point streak was a 5-0-2 run from Dec. 31, 2015, to Jan. 14, 2016.
Lightning: At Vegas on Saturday to conclude a four-game trip.
Coyotes: At Los Angeles on Saturday.
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