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Pucks In Deep: Talk About Solid

The Coyotes defeat the Golden Knights in convincing fashion to earn their first win of the season

by Alex Kinkopf @AEKinkopf / Arizona Coyotes

Game #3: Arizona (4) vs. Vegas (1)

SOG: ARI - 29, VGK - 38

PP: ARI - 0/2, VGK - 0/4

ARI SCORING: Garland (1) (Soderberg) - 8:00/1st, Schmaltz (1) (Dvorak, Hayton) - 19:21/1st, Garland (2) (Oesterle) - 2:03/2nd, Hjalmarsson (1) (Keller, Soderberg) - 18:28/2nd

VGK SCORING: Theodore (1) (McNabb, Glass) - 19:55/1st

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> TALK ABOUT SOLID <

Four goals. Three scorers. Two points. One memorable debut.

From start to finish, the Coyotes played their most complete game of the season, a performance head coach Rick Tocchet characterized with the words 'professionalism' and 'passion'.

The scoring finally came, and it was only a matter of time. 

Not much changed with the defense - they remained stingy. The Coyotes have only allowed a combined four goals through their first three games of the season, touting a team 1.33 GAA, which ranks second in the NHL.

Hello again, Conor Garland . He went off - scoring not only once, but twice.

First on a bounce.

And then a breakaway finish.

Darcy Kuemper put forth another impressive performance, making 36 saves on 37 shots faced. His updated 1.35 GAA and .957 SV% both rank third among NHL goaltenders that have played at least two games this season. He has now gone 10 straight starts allowing two goals or less.

How about Barrett Hayton ? What a night for the 19-year-old. He registered his first NHL point in his first NHL game, the result of his nifty one-handed feed to set-up the Coyotes' second goal of the evening.

It's been a long time coming for Niklas Hjalmarsson , who drove home his first goal since March 5, 2018, a seeing-eye slap shot.

"Solid," the veteran defenseman said of Thursday's win. "It was just a solid game all over the ice for of us; offensively, defensively, and Kuemper has been playing extremely well. It was a fun night."

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> THEY SAID IT <

"It was amazing. It's something that you dream of for a long time, and it was definitely nothing short of what those dreams were."

- Barrett Hayton, on making his NHL debut

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> DON'T OVERLOOK IT <

Christian Fischer does his best work in front of the net, make no mistake about it. His positioning atop Vegas' crease late in the second period played a major role in Niklas Hjalmarsson's goal, as he all but took away Marc-Andre Fleury's vision after establishing inside position by boxing out John Merril with a combination of stick-work and body leverage.

As Fischer crossed Fleury's path, he also utilized the mass of the Vegas defender to disrupt the goaltender's sightline. And as a result, Hjalmarsson's slapshot whistled through traffic and into the back of the net for the Coyotes' fourth goal of the evening.

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> GOTTA SEE IT <

One-handed pass? No problem.

The line of Barret Hayton - Christian Dvorak - Nick Schmaltz was electric throughout the evening, and their slick connection to produce the second Coyotes goal of the evening all but exemplified their work.

Entering Vegas territory in the late stages of the first period, Hayton nudged off a Golden Knights defenseman to feed a trailing Dvorak with a one-handed pass, showcasing his strength, balance, and awareness all in one play.

Schmaltz, driving to the net, touched home a perfectly placed back-door feed from Dvorak to bury.

Clean. Crisp.

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> PHOTO FINISH <

A dejected Malcolm Subban rests in the crease as the puck that just passed him settles two feet away. Christian Dvorak joins Nick Schmaltz in the corner to celebrate as the two await the arrival of Barret Hayton, who recorded his first NHL point on a goal that gave the Coyotes a 2-0 lead late in the first period of Thursday night's 4-1 win over the Vegas Golden Knights at Gila River Arena. (Photo: Christian Petersen / Getty Images)

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