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Recap: Coyotes Strike Early, Often vs. Lightning

by Dave Vest @davest4yotes / Coyotes Sr. Director of News Content

GLENDALE -- Twelve Coyotes, including goalie Antti Raanta, notched at least one point on Saturday night as Arizona clobbered the Tampa Bay Lightning, 7-1, at Gila River Arena.

The eye-popping victory extended Arizona's winning streak to three games and ended Tampa Bay's point streak at seven games. 

The Coyotes led 3-0 after taking five shots on former goalie Louis Domingue and never looked back.

"That's big," Head Coach Rick Tocchet said of grabbing an early lead. "It loosens guys up too, you know when you get a couple of shots in early guys start to feel a little calmer on the bench, you start to feel those shots. When you're not scoring, that's when people get tight, and you could feel the bench was a little loose after a couple of those goals went in ... We had energy tonight and some of those shots that weren't going in early (in the season) were going in. We had some guys who shot the puck really well tonight."

Video: Tocchet on Strong PK, Win

With the win, Arizona improved its record to 5-5-0, which is noteworthy because the Coyotes were 1-4-0 after five games. 

"I don't want us to be overconfident, I mean we're .500," Tocchet said. "We're 5-5, we climbed back in it, we've won two games at home ... We had a tough start. I like that we're digging deep, but this is a fickle league. I believe in karma so we've got to stick with it."

Michael Grabner, who notched zero goals in his first nine games with Arizona, scored two short-handed goals to up his career total to 17 shorties. 

"A lot of those games we lost, we played good, structured hockey and kept teams to low shots on net and low goals, but we just weren't scoring," Grabner said. "The puck's going in for a lot of guys now, and it makes it a lot easier, easier to be confident."

Video: Belt Ceremony | Lightning vs. Coyotes

The Coyotes have scored four short-handed goals in the past two games and lead the NHL with five. They notched just two in 82 games last season.

Video: Grabner: Good to Get on Board

• Raanta returned to Arizona's net for the first time in a week and stopped 30 of 31 shots. The lone goal he allowed, scored by Adam Erne at 9:27 of the third period, was a fluky one that Arizona challenged. The Coyotes believed Tampa Bay was off-side before the puck gently arched over Raanta's head and dropped into the net. 

"It's a tough one," said Raanta, who missed two starts this week because of flu-like symptoms. "At least we had a six-goal lead at that time. I think it was a pretty close call on the off-side but that's life. Sometimes that happens. We'll get the shutout some other time ... I don't know if (the Lightning) had any actual scoring chances, like really tough ones. They didn't get any odd-man rushes or anything else. The guys made it pretty easy for me. We played a really good 60 minutes."

Raanta notched his third NHL assist, and his first point with the Coyotes, when he helped set up Vinnie Hinostroza's goal at 8:36 of the second period. 

• Grabner wasn't the only member of the Coyotes to score his first goal of the season on Saturday. Jordan Oesterle, Derek Stepan and Richard Panik, who was back in the lineup after two games as a healthy scratch, did the same. 

Clayton Keller tallied his team-leading fifth goal of the season and has 28 in 95 NHL games. That total ties him with Brendan Perlini for the most goals scored by a Coyotes player within his first 100 career games.

• Arizona last scored seven goals in a game on Oct. 15, 2014 when it beat Edmonton 7-4. Oliver Ekman-Larsson is the only player on the current Coyotes roster who played in that game. 

Video: Goligoski: Consistency is Key

• Stats that jump off the Event Summary: Alex Galchenyuk took a team-high five shots, Panik had four takeaways and Niklas Hjalmarsson was +5.

• Greg Adams, who played 144 games for the Coyotes from 1998-2000, dropped the ceremonial first puck. 

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