TEMPE, Ariz. (AP)Jack McBain scored two late goals, and the Arizona Coyotes beat the Toronto Maple Leafs 6-3 on Thursday night for their third straight win.
McBain broke a tie when he converted a cross-ice feed from Lawson Crouse with 6:17 remaining. McBain and Barrett Hayton scored into an open net in the final moments as the Coyotes became the first team to beat Toronto (22-8-6) twice this season.
”Lawson is playing unreal right now,” McBain said. ”He made a good pass there and I was just glad I was able to put it in.”
The Coyotes are 6-1-1 at 5,000-seat Mullett Arena since returning from a 14-game, 33-day road trip. They have defeated Boston, Colorado and the Maple Leafs at home this season.
”We’re winning games against really good opponents,” Coyotes coach Andre Tourigny said. ”We cannot get ahead of ourselves. We need to get better every day. It’s a really tough league, but we’ve built up some confidence to play at home, that’s for sure. The atmosphere is great, we love it. Now we believe in ourselves, and that’s building up.”
Nick Bjugstad, Jakob Chychrun and J.J. Moser also scored, and Karel Vejmelka had 29 saves for the Coyotes. Hayton had two assists.
”(McBain) played with a lot of passion,” Tourigny said. ”He was physical. He was very fast. He won a lot of battles.”
Pontus Holmberg, Calle Jarnkrok and Alexander Kerfoot scored for the Maple Leafs, who had won three in a row. Jarnkrok has scored in three straight. Matt Murray made 17 saves.
”That’s a game that we obviously should be winning and gave it away,” Kerfoot said. ”It’s fun playing in new environments. This is different. Packed building. Energy in the building. It was a fun experience, but it doesn’t really matter too much.”
The Leafs were coming off a 4-3 overtime victory in St. Louis on Tuesday.
”That is two games in a row now that we have given up a lead in the third period,” Toronto coach Sheldon Keefe said. ”It’s two games we’ve been in control of. It got away on us for different reasons.”
Bjugstad gave the Coyotes an early lead when he poked a puck free along the side boards and skated in alone on Murray after Leafs defensemen Mark Giordano and Justin Holl collided just inside the blue line. Bjugstad’s goal at 46 seconds was one of two Coyotes shots in the first period.
Holmberg and Jarnkrok scored on the Leafs’ two power-play chances midway through the first, both on passes from Conor Timmins.
”We scored two really big power-play goals,” Keefe said. ”That breakaway we give up on the first shift, that is not a good look for us off the start.”
Chychrun tied it at 2 on a power play in the second period. The Coyotes won the draw in their end and Chychrun knocked in a rebound of Nick Ritchie’s quick wrist shot.
Kerfoot put the Leafs ahead 3-2 when he redirected Giordano’s shot from the blue line at 11:19 after sending the puck to Giordano from behind the net.
”Just tried to beat my guy back to the net and it bounced right to me,” Kerfoot said.
Moser tied it five minutes into the third with one second remaining on a penalty on Timmins, who gave the puck away in his own end and was called for high sticking while trying to get it back.
”That was just on me,” said Timmins, who was traded to Toronto after playing two games with the Coyotes in November. ”I took a bad penalty early in the third period and let them back in, and then it’s a tie game and it can go either way. We have to limit those mistakes, myself especially.”
Maple Leafs defenseman Morgan Reilly had an assist in his return after missing 15 games with a lower body injury. … Forward Dryden Hunt made his Leafs debut after being acquired from St. Louis on Dec. 19. … Leafs defenseman Rasmus Sandin (neck) hissed his third straight game. He is practicing but is not ready to return. … Coyotes forward Liam O’Brien (upper body) missed his sixth straight game. The Coyotes dressed 11 forwards. . Actor Vince Vaughn and 23-time Olympic gold medalist Michael Phelps attended. … The Coyotes have won four straight against Toronto.
Maple Leafs: At Colorado on Saturday.
Coyotes: At Tampa Bay on Saturday.
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