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'Yotes Notes: Goligoski Scores Biggest Goal of Season

Defenseman Alex Goligoski secured Arizona's first win of 2017-18 with OT goal

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

PHILADELPHIA -- Set up nicely by Max Domi and Clayton Keller, Alex Goligoski scored Arizona's most meaningful goal of the season on Monday night at Wells Fargo Center.

Tied 3-3, Goligoski beat Philadelphia goalie Brian Elliott with a one-timer from the bottom of the right circle with just 14.4 seconds left in overtime to give the Coyotes a 4-3 victory, their first of the 2017-18 season.


Video: ARI@PHI: Goligoski buries game-winning goal in OT

"Great play by Max and 'Kells,'" Goligoski said of his first goal of the season. "Max calls for it, plays patient and gets it to 'Kells,' and he comes in and attacks like he is going to shoot and slides it over to me. I have the net. Good play by them."

The goal saved the Coyotes from the sting of an epic collapse. Leading 3-1, Arizona allowed the Flyers to score twice with their goalie pulled 37 seconds apart within the final minute of the third period.

"We stuck with it," Goligoski said. "Obviously we have been through some learning experiences for these first 10-11 games. We will be prepared for next time, I hope. It just feels good to get a win."

Video: Goligoski on GWG vs. Flyers

• The victory was the first for Rick Tocchet as head coach of the Coyotes.

"It's more for the guys," Tocchet said of his post-game glee. "The first two periods were the best they played all year. Obviously the Flyers are a good team. They made a push, but getting the win is big. We'll go over some of the mistakes there in the last two minutes, but for the most part I thought the guys deserved this win ... They executed the game plan. We wanted to play a quick game and get the puck behind the defense of the Flyers. You could tell the guys were getting confidence because it was working." 

The Coyotes remain far behind the pack, but at least now they have some confidence and momentum.

"We're not a 1-10-1 team," Tocchet said. "I know everybody looks at the record. People haven't watched us play, but we should have five or six wins by now. That's what I keep telling the players. That's why they came to play tonight. That's why they came to play the other night (in New Jersey). They know we're not a 1-10-1 team."

Video: Tocchet: 'Nice to See Kids Come Through'
Goligoski agreed.

"People haven't really seen much of us," Goligoski said. "We have been playing that way for a while now, it's just come down to these situations and end of games where it's almost been bizarre. We are playing good hockey. It's just a matter of certain situations, cleaning that up. When we do that we are going to be a real tough team to beat."

Jordan Martinook, Christian Dvorak and Brendan Perlini also scored for Arizona, which stretched its winning streak over Philadelphia to four games. All four games were decided by one goal.

Martinook was asked to explain the mood in the dressing room after the team earned its first win.

"Relief. Excitement. Happiness," Martinook said. "You can go on and on with all the adjectives you want. It's nice to finish a game with a smile on your face, even though we probably want to win games a little easier than that. It's nice. It's a win. We'll go from there. Everybody's happy … Now we got that monkey off our back. Hopefully we can keep going."

Video: Martinook: 'Monkey Off the Back'

• Scott Wedgewood stopped 28 of 31 shots in his first start with the Coyotes, who acquired him from New Jersey via a trade on Saturday. The game was just the fifth of Wedgewood's NHL career, and his first in the League since March 27, 2016. 

"It feels good," Wedgewood said. "Guys played well in front of me. First period, only three shots (faced), a two-goal lead, easing me in there, and then they were blocking shots, sticks in the lanes all night … We stayed calm and we battled as a team. It's a gutsy win."

Video: Wedgewood: 'We Battled as a Team'

Tocchet said Wedgewood's performance provided a lift to the team.

"It was solid," Tocchet said. "He looked big in the net. That's what I liked about him. He stopped the shots he should stop."

• With his assist on the game-winning goal, Keller extended his point streak to a career-high six games. The win on Monday was Keller's first as an NHL player. It came in his 15th game.

Oliver Ekman-Larsson skated a team-high 27:12, took four shots on goal, delivered three hits and blocked two shots.

Niklas Hjalmarsson, who assisted on two of Arizona's goals, suffered an upper-body injury at 8:36 of the third period when he was hit in the face by Flyers forward Travis Konecny's stick. Hjalmarsson didn't play after that. 

• Dvorak extended his NHL career-high point streak to four games (one goal, three assists).

• Goalie Hunter Miska served as Wedgewood's backup. Arizona recalled Miska from the American Hockey League on Monday as starter Antti Raanta continues to rehab a lower-body issue. Miska was the sixth goalie to dress for the Coyotes over the first 12 games of the season. 

Brad Richardson wore the rotating third 'A'. Hjalmarsson and Ekman-Larsson are wearing an 'A' on a permanent basis this season.


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