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Final Look: Coyotes Maintain Pacific Lead Despite Loss to Devils

Goligoski scores and Kuemper makes 31 saves in a closely contested affair; first place in the division preserved

by Alex Kinkopf @AEKinkopf / Game Recap

COYOTES MAINTAIN PACIFIC LEAD DESPITE LOSS TO DEVILS

Although they generated a number of looks in the offensive zone on Saturday night, the Coyotes were held to a single goal in their 2-1 loss to the New Jersey Devils at Gila River Arena.

All teams in the top ranks of the Pacific Division suffered losses on Saturday, seeing the Coyotes maintain sole possession of first place, remaining two points up on the Edmonton Oilers and Calgary Flames.  

"We had some chances and we needed to score," head coach Rick Tocchet said after the game. "We had one goal, but we had good goaltending again. I don't think we gave up a bunch of chances, I didn't mind our game at all, we just didn't execute."

New Jersey struck for the game's opening goal just over two minutes into the first period to take a 1-0 lead with 17:43 remaining in the opening frame.

In the latter stages of the first, Alex Goligoski buried his third goal of the season to finish an aggressive up-ice rush, connecting with a wrist shot from the slot after receiving a pass from Vinnie Hinostroza .

Goligoski's marker served as the Coyotes' seventh power play in their last seven games.

Following a scoreless second period, New Jersey took a 2-1 lead with 8:26 remaining in regulation.

The Coyotes were unable to tack-on the equalizer.

Darcy Kuemper stopped 31 of the 33 shots he faced to keep the Coyotes well within striking distance through the duration of play.

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TRACKING IT

GAME #35: ARIZONA (1) vs. NEW JERSEY (2)

  • SOG: ARI - 32, NJD - 33
  • PP: ARI - 1/3, NJD - 0/3

ARIZONA SCORING:

NEW JERSEY SCORING:

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THEY SAID IT

"That's a game that's going to sting a bit, that's a game we feel we should've had, we had a ton of chances and their goalie made some timely saves, as did ours. Just a tough one."

Jakob Chychrun , on Saturday's 2-1 loss

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DON'T OVERLOOK IT

THE SITUATION: Coyotes trailing, 2-1, with 2:30 remaining in the third period

Darcy Kuemper was strong once again, earning praise from teammates and head coach Rick Tocchet after the game.

He made 31 saves throughout the night, including his stop of Miles Wood's power play look with less than three minutes to play in regulation to keep the Coyotes within a goal.

"Kuemps is always there for us," Jakob Chychrun said of his goaltender. "We've got to put up more goals."

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GOTTA SEE IT

THE SITUATION: Coyotes trailing, 1-0, with 4:25 remaining in the first period.

In a play that transpired from behind their own net, the Coyotes transitioned swiftly up the ice to execute on the power play and tie the game, 1-1, late in the first period.

Jakob Chychrun pinned Travis Zajac deep in Arizona territory to free the puck for Alex Goligoski, who rushed up the ice to eventually feed Vinnie Hinostroza in the neutral zone.

Hinostroza found Goligoski in the slot with a return pass, who delayed and walked in to deposit a wrist shot, beating Mackenzie Blackwood to the glove side.

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PHOTO FINISH

Hands in the air. Forward Carl Soderberg reaches for the sky after Alex Goligoski connected to tie the game, 1-1, late in the first period of the Coyotes' eventual 2-1 loss to the New Jersey Devils on Saturday night at Gila River Arena. (Photo Credit: Kevin Abele - Getty Images)

Lead Photo Credit: Kevin Abele - Arizona Coyotes // GIF Highlight Footage: Fox Sports Arizona

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