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game recap

Devils top Coyotes for Nasreddine's first victory as coach

New Jersey ends seven-game winless streak; Hall scratched again for precautionary reasons

by Alan Robinson / Independent Correspondent

Palmieri flicks go-ahead goal

NJD@ARI: Palmieri flips puck over Kuemper's glove

Kyle Palmieri charges towards the net, drags the puck, and flicks the puck over Darcy Kuemper's glove to give the Devils a 2-1 lead in the 3rd

  • 00:36 •

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Playing their second straight game without Taylor Hall, the New Jersey Devils gave Alain Nasreddine his first win as an NHL coach with a 2-1 victory against the Arizona Coyotes at Gila River Arena on Saturday.

Hall, a potential trade target who leads the Devils with 25 points (six goals, 19 assists) in 30 games, was scratched for precautionary reasons. He also missed the Devils' 3-1 loss to the Colorado Avalanche on Friday.

Kyle Palmieri scored the tiebreaking goal in the third period, Michael McLeod had his first two assists of the season, and Mackenzie Blackwood made 31 saves for the Devils (10-17-5), who were 0-6-1 in their previous seven games.


[WATCH: All Devils vs. Coyotes highlights]


"When you look at everything that's gone on this last week, it just feels good to be on the winning side," Palmieri said.

"It was wearing on everybody in this room, [Nasreddine], everybody in the locker room, everybody in the organization. It was a lot of bad bus rides, a lot of bad plane rides. But tonight was a positive and we'll take it."

Video: NJD@ARI: Boqvist tips McLeod's shot into the goal

Nasreddine was coaching in his sixth game (1-4-1) after replacing John Hynes on Dec. 3.

"It felt really good, there were a lot of emotions. It's been an emotional 10 days," Nasreddine said. "I've been looking forward to this win. We've had some cracks at it, but finally we came through. It's a great day."

Darcy Kuemper made 31 saves for the Coyotes (19-12-4), who went 1-2-0 on a three-game homestand and are 8-8-1 in Arizona compared to 11-4-3 on the road.

"We had one goal. I didn't mind our game at all, but we didn't execute," Coyotes coach Rick Tocchet said. "We had chances to make a play and we didn't attack the net. You've got to make plays to score goals and we didn't."

After McLeod's initial shot was blocked by Coyotes defenseman Alex Goligoski, Palmieri collected the loose puck and scored top shelf from below the left circle to make it 2-1 at 11:34 of the third period. Blackwood started the rush with a stretch pass to Miles Wood at the Coyotes blue line.

"If you look at the performances everyone gave tonight, everyone was battling, working for each other," Blackwood said. "It was contagious and it's really nice to see, and I think everyone in here was really happy that we were able to get that one for [Nasreddine]."

Video: NJD@ARI: Goligoski fires a wrist shot past Blackwood

Jesper Boqvist gave New Jersey a 1-0 lead at 2:17 of the first period, redirecting McLeod's shot from in front after he got the rebound of a shot by Wood on a 3-on-2.

"[Nasreddine] has done a great job with the group and it's great we could get in the win column," said McLeod, who was playing in his second game this season.

Goligoski tied it 1-1 at 15:35 of the first. After P.K. Subban was called for holding, his second penalty in the period, Goligoski took a pass from Vinnie Hinostroza and scored on a wrist shot from the high slot.

"We didn't execute when we had to and they were able to find the (winning) goal," Goligoski said. "Teams are coming into our building knowing they need to good effort to win, and we're seeing a little bit of that. We're aware of that and we've got to find a way to get results at home."


They said it

"You look at the saves [Blackwood] made, they look easy and that gives a lot of confidence to the team. Scoring chances from point blank in the slot and he makes it look easy. He was great, made a lot of tough saves. To win in this League, you need good goaltending and he's giving us that." -- Devils coach Alain Nasreddine

"We knew they were going to play that way, that's their identity. They play hard, they were forechecking us hard all night and it's tough to do that on a back-to-back. There's no reason for us to not match their intensity." -- Coyotes defenseman Jakob Chychrun

"You're scratching your head (about Arizona's home record), you try to understand a lot of things. There are opportunities to make a play or get the puck to the net and get a greasy goal. Everything can't be pretty. Sometimes there's a 1-1 game and you've got to will yourself a goal." -- Coyotes coach Rick Tocchet


Need to know

Hall accompanied the Devils on their plane ride home. … New Jersey is 3-9-1 in its past 13 games. … Blackwood has allowed three goals on 86 shots (.965 save percentage) in his past three games. … Arizona is 2-4-1 in its past seven home games. … Kuemper is 0-4-2 against the Devils.


What's next

Devils: Host the Anaheim Ducks on Wednesday (7 p.m. ET; MSG+, PRIME, NHL.TV)

Coyotes: At the San Jose Sharks on Tuesday (10:30 p.m. ET; NBCSCA, FS-A PLUS, NHL.TV)

Video: Palmieri lifts Devils to 2-1 victory over Coyotes

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