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Domi, Coyotes hang on to defeat Maple Leafs

by Mike Brophy / NHL.com

TORONTO -- It was a dream come true for Arizona Coyotes rookie forward Max Domi when he scored a goal in a 4-3 win against the Toronto Maple Leafs at Air Canada Centre on Monday.

Domi's fourth goal opened the scoring early in the first period.

"It was a good feeling to help get the boys off on the right foot," he said. "It was a big win. We came out of the gate flying and we played a full 60 minutes. It was good to see."

The son of former Maple Leafs right wing Tie Domi, the 20-year-old was looking forward to returning to Air Canada Centre, where he spent a lot of time as a kid.

"It's the NHL, so every game lives up to expectations," Domi said. "It's a lot of fun out there and it's even better when you are winning."

With 10 points in his first nine NHL games, Domi is tied with Martin Hanzal for the Coyotes lead and is first among NHL rookies.

Arizona coach Dave Tippett is thrilled with Domi's play.

"He plays a real dynamic game and he's tenacious," Tippett said. "The thing we have been telling him to try to do is shoot the puck more. He's got a great shot, forehand and backhand. It's a really good story right now for an unbelievable kid. There is a lot of pressure and spotlight on him, and he's handled it well."

Tippett then turned his attention to the Coyotes' performance as a team.

"There are battles that happen below the top of the faceoff circles at both ends of the ice, and you've got to be hard in those battles if you expect to win," Tippett said. "I thought our forwards did a good job below their hash marks and I thought our defense did another real good job around our net. That has been a strength of ours this year, our defense battling around our net, and they did a great job tonight."

The win was the second straight on the road for the Coyotes (5-3-1), who have earned five of a possible eight points in the first four of a five-game trip.

The Maple Leafs (1-5-2) are 0-2-1 at home.

Domi gave the Coyotes a 1-0 lead at 6:31 of the first period with a power-play goal eight seconds after Maple Leafs defenseman Scott Harrington was called for tripping. Domi snapped a shot from the top of the faceoff circle that handcuffed Toronto goalie James Reimer.

Defenseman Michael Stone and Hanzal got the assists. It was Hanzal's NHL-leading 10th of the season.

Arizona appeared to cash in on the power play again at 11:21, but the goal was waved off after video review. With Toronto center Nazem Kadri off for closing his hand on the puck, Hanzal tipped Stone's shot past Reimer, but it was ruled Hanzal's stick was above the crossbar.

Toronto tied it when Shawn Matthias scored his first goal of the season at 13:08. After center Mark Arcobello won a faceoff in the Arizona zone, Brad Boyes fired a quick shot that Coyotes goalie Mike Smith stopped, but Matthias was there to tap in the rebound.

The Coyotes regained the lead with another power-play goal in the first. Captain Shane Doan scored from in tight on a tic-tac-toe passing play at 14:59. Mikkel Boedker and Oliver Ekman-Larsson got the assists.

Klas Dahlbeck made it 3-1 for the Coyotes at 7:38 of the second period when his 30-foot slap shot beat Reimer to the short side.

Kadri came close to drawing the Maple Leafs to within a goal at 5:08 of the third period when he fired a sharp-angled shot with Smith down and out, but the puck hit the post.

Kyle Chipchura made it 4-1 for Arizona when he poked a rebound past Reimer at 7:00 with the teams playing at 4-on-4.

Toronto's James van Riemsdyk got the goal back two minutes later when he broke in alone and slipped a backhand shot between Smith's legs at 9:05.

Maple Leafs defenseman Morgan Rielly made it 4-3 with his second goal of the season at 17:34. Toronto had pulled Reimer for an extra skater, and Smith was playing without his stick when Rielly fired a long shot that went in.

Maple Leafs coach Mike Babcock felt they lost some of their edge in the second period.

"If I look at the whole game, the part that I didn't like as a coach was in the second period; when things went bad on us, we didn't respond," Babcock said. "I don't know if it's the pressure of being here, or what it was, but I could feel it on the bench. We didn't keep coming, which is disappointing for me."

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