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Coyotes overcome Anaheim rally, win 4-3 in a shootout

Schmaltz, Garland tally in the shootout to secure victory, evening Arizona's preseason record to 2-2

by Alex Kinkopf @AEKinkopf / Arizona Coyotes

The Coyotes staved off the Anaheim Ducks' late comeback effort Saturday night at Gila River Arena, going the distance to clinch the contest in a shootout, securing a 4-3 victory.

Nick Schmaltz and Conor Garland executed for Arizona in the shootout while goalie Darcy Kuemper denied both of Anaheim's breakaway bids.

Michael Bunting opened the scoring for the Coyotes just over 12 minutes into the game, putting the finishing touches on a give-and-go sequence with Michael Chaput , beating Anaheim's John Gibson upstairs.

Shortly after Anaheim tied the score, 1-1, late in the second period, the Coyotes struck on the power play when Carl Soderberg buried a rebound from a well-placed Barrett Hayton wrist shot to claim a 2-1 lead.

Hayton, a fixture on the Arizona power play throughout the evening, saw a total of 17:48 in ice time.

"I think that was a huge win in the end," Hayton said. "I thought we generated a lot of chances, but there are some tweaks we need to make in our d-zone, there are some things we gave up we wish we didn't. Overall, it was nice to get this last [preseason] game at home."

Clayton Keller upped the Coyotes' lead to 3-1 in the early stages of the third period, wiring a wrist shot from a relatively tight angle as he fled wide left, beating Anaheim's Kevin Boyle high to the far side.

For Keller, it was his second goal of the preseason, adding confirmation to the praise he received from head coach Rick Tocchet following the win.

"I really like Keller's camp out there so far, he's got a good attitude, he's come into camp and he's been one of our better players throughout," Tocchet said of Keller. "He's worked on his shot, his shot is 50% better, he came to camp in really good shape, he's getting inside, I really like his game."

The Ducks scored twice in the final seven minutes of the third period to tie the game, 3-3, forcing the contest past regulation.

Captain Oliver Ekman-Larsson logged a team-high 26:37 TOI, finishing his preseason debut with two assists.

Kuemper stopped 30 of the 33 shots he faced to earn the win.

Arizona is now an even 2-2 through the first four games of its seven-game exhibition slate.

The Coyotes will continue, and finish, their preseason schedule on the road. They are next scheduled to play the Edmonton Oilers on Tuesday night at Rogers Place, where the puck is scheduled to drop just after 6:00 p.m.

*Photos courtesy: Norm Hall

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