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Final Look: Coyotes' Confidence Shows in 2-1 Defeat of Islanders

Clayton Keller and Conor Garland provide offensive support for Antti Raanta, who finished the day with 28 saves

by Alex Kinkopf @AEKinkopf / Game Recap

COYOTES' CONFIDENCE SHOWS IN 2-1 DEFEAT OF ISLANDERS

Back-to-back wins and a home stand sweep.

The Coyotes played to the same structured, self-assured tune they did two nights ago to top the New York Islanders by a 2-1 score on Monday afternoon at Gila River Arena.

Again benefiting from timely scoring, again backed by first-rate goaltending, again bolstering their presence and position in the Western Conference's playoff picture.

"Huge, huge wins, we knew we needed one against Washington and same with tonight, we wanted to carry it over," said Clayton Keller , who struck to score the Coyotes' first goal of the day. "We had a ton of confidence after beating them, it was a huge game for us and now we go on the road for two, and those are big games as well."

Keller cut across the slot after receiving from Phil Kessel just inside the Islanders' blue line, shifting coverage and adjusting his lane before firing a wrist shot that caromed off of a New York defender and into the net.

Keller's goal, his 13th of the season, gave the Coyotes a 1-0 lead with 15:02 left to play in the opening frame.

Backboned by a slew of remarkable saves from Antti Raanta , who made a total of 28 on the day, the Coyotes carried their 1-0 lead into the third period.

Conor Garland provided a vital insurance marker with 16:07 to play in regulation, upping the Coyotes' lead to 2-0 as he shoveled home his 20th goal of the season while hounding the Islanders' net.

The Islanders countered with their first and only goal of the evening with 13:18 left on the clock, cutting the Coyotes' lead to 2-1. The goal snapped New York's scoring drought at 166:46.

That's as close as it would get; the Coyotes improved to 7-1-3 in their last 11 home games following the final horn.

"Really good," head coach Rick Tocchet said of the team's response and performance with an early afternoon puck drop. "Coming off the road and an emotional win against Washington, that was an emotion game, a playoff style game. The guys responded and held it together, a lot of credit to the players today."

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TRACKING IT

GAME #62: ARIZONA (2) vs. NEW YORK [ISLANDERS] (1)

  • SOG: ARI - 32, NYI - 29
  • PP: ARI - 0/2, NYI - 0/3

ARIZONA SCORING:

NEW YORK [ISLANDERS] SCORING:

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THEY SAID IT

"When all 21 guys are playing we just start clicking, and I think a couple of lines are feeling it now, so that's good. We've just got to keep playing, we've got big games coming up and have to keep playing our way."

Conor Garland, on Monday's 2-1 win over New York

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DON'T OVERLOOK IT

THE SITUATION: Antti Raanta's poised performance in net

For the second straight game, Antti Raanta earned first star honors, and for the second straight game, he held the opposition to just one goal, stopping 28 of the 29 shots he faced to shoulder the Coyotes to victory.

Included in his 28 saves were a handful of dynamic denials, including his nix of a Jordan Eberle front-net redirect attempt in the first period, his sprawling swallow of Anders Lee early in the second, and a breakaway shutdown of Brock Nelson in the third.

"I just tried to battle, it's not the prettiest right now, too many splits and too many [saves] sitting down," he said. "But I just tried to battle and put something in front of the puck, and also the pucks are bouncing a little bit in my way also."

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GOTTA SEE IT

THE SITUATION: Conor Garland's 20th goal of the season

Just another day in the office. Hard to the net, top of the crease, stick down.

Conor Garland became the Coyotes' first 20-goal scorer since Clayton Keller registered 23 in 2017-18 when he shoveled home from point-blank range with 16:07 left to play in regulation.

Christian Dvorak spun off of a defender to retrieve a loose rebound, tucking a backhand pass to a back-door Garland, who finished the deal to give the Coyotes a crucial 2-0 third period lead.

"I mean I think it's just, ya know, it's just, it's just another goal," he said when asked if scoring his 20th had any personal significance. "I just want to play well and I thought our line did a pretty good job tonight and it's good that we got rewarded, we had two good games here so it's just good to get rewarded as a line."

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PHOTO FINISH

Roaring 20's. Conor Garland drops to one knee as he celebrates his 20th goal of the season on Monday afternoon at Gila River Arena after jamming home a back-door feed to give the Coyotes a 2-0 lead in the third period of the team's eventual 2-1 win over the New York Islanders. (Photo Credit: Christian Petersen - Getty Images)

Lead Photo Credit: Christian Petersen - Getty Images // GIF Highlight Footage: Fox Sports Arizona

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