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game recap

Coyotes hand Islanders third straight loss

Keller, Garland score for Arizona; Greene has assist in New York debut

by Alan Robinson / Independent Correspondent

Keller nets goal off defender

NYI@ARI: Keller scores after shot banks off Leddy

Clayton Keller skates into the slot and shoots, as the puck hits the chest of Nick Leddy and trickles into the net to put the Coyotes up 1-0

  • 00:47 •

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Clayton Keller scored his first goal in 18 games, and Antti Raanta made 28 saves for the Arizona Coyotes in a 2-1 win against the New York Islanders at Gila River Arena on Monday.

"We had a defend-first mentality," Raanta said. "If you can limit the other team's chances, you're closer to winning. I thought we played pretty smart."

Arizona (30-24-8) has won two straight and is 7-1-3 in its past 11 games at home.  


[WATCH: All Islanders vs. Coyotes highlights]


"These are huge wins. We needed one against Washington (3-1 victory on Saturday) and same with today," Keller said. "We had a ton of confidence and we wanted it to carry over."

Semyon Varlamov made 30 saves for New York (33-19-6), which has lost three straight games and has been outscored 8-1 in that span. 

"When you put three in a row together where you only get one goal, it starts to wear on you, but you can't let it get to you and we've got to figure it out and keep pressing," Islanders captain Anders Lee said.

Defenseman Andy Greene, who was acquired in a trade with the New Jersey Devils on Sunday, had one assist in 19:46 of ice time. 

"I had a crash course and everything, and I just tried to retain everything and slowly build a game there," Greene said. "As the game went on, I felt a little better. I wish we could have found another one (goal) there, but it wasn't for a lack of effort or lack of chances."

Video: NYI@ARI: Garland taps in Dvorak feed from in front

Keller gave Arizona a 1-0 lead at 4:58 of the first period, skating into the high slot for a shot that deflected off Islanders defenseman Nick Leddy. It was his first goal since scoring twice against the Philadelphia Flyers on Jan. 4. 

"I felt the last few games that this is the best they played as a line," Coyotes coach Rick Tocchet said of the Keller-Nick Schmaltz-Phil Kessel line. "If they can just commit to playing in the right way in their own end, they're going to get chances the other way."

Conor Garland made it 2-0 at 3:53 of the third period, tapping in a backhand cross-crease pass from Christian Dvorak into the open net. Garland is the first Coyotes player to score 20 goals since Keller had 23 in 2017-18. 

Anthony Beauvillier cut it to 2-1 at 6:42 of the third when he redirected Greene's pass in the left circle off the right post and in. The goal ended the Islanders' scoreless streak at 166:46.

"It's been tough for us lately to find goals and we got one there from Beau to give us life, we just weren't able to get the second one," Lee said. "Chances over and over. You just got to find a way to put it in."

Before that, Raanta stopped Brock Nelson on a breakaway at 6:53, and he preserved the 1-0 lead in the second period when he kept Devon Toews' shot from completely crossing the goal line on a redirection with his right pad.

"We hit four posts, had a breakaway, put one off the knob of [Raanta's] stick, and had a puck in the crease. We talk about a game of inches, but it's really a game of centimeters right now," Islanders coach Barry Trotz said. "I thought as much as [Arizona] deserved to win that game, so did we."


They said it

"It's just one of those stretches where it's not going in for us. You've got to continue to make plays and stay on top of it and we'll find a way, it'll come. We're playing fine hockey, we're just not putting the puck in the net." -- Islanders captain Anders Lee

"The reason the Islanders are successful is they're comfortable in their own skin. I felt the last two games, especially, we're comfortable with who we are. We have to just be able to maintain that, with 21 guys believing that. You can't have four or five guys trying to push the envelope somewhere else." -- Coyotes coach Rick Tocchet


Need to know

It's the first time New York has lost three straight in regulation under Trotz. … Greene, who played his first 14 seasons with the Devils, wore No. 4 rather than his customary No. 6. He was offered No. 6 by teammate Ryan Pulock, but he declined it. … Coyotes forward Brad Richardson played in his 800th NHL game.


What's next

Islanders: At the Colorado Avalanche on Wednesday (10 p.m. ET; ESPN+, ALT, MSG+, NHL.TV)

Coyotes: At the Dallas Stars on Wednesday (8:30 p.m. ET; FS-SW, FS-A, FS-A PLUS, NHL.TV)

Video: Raanta, Coyotes hold on to defeat Islanders

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