Zetterlund, Bahl score 1st NHL goals as Devils down Coyotes

Apr 12, 2022, 9:56 AM | Updated: 10:44 pm
New Jersey Devils center Jesper Boqvist, front, celebrates his goal against Arizona Coyotes goalten...

New Jersey Devils center Jesper Boqvist, front, celebrates his goal against Arizona Coyotes goaltender Karel Vejmelka, lower left, as Coyotes defensemen J.J. Moser (62) and Anton Stralman (86) pause on the ice during the second period of an NHL hockey game Tuesday, April 12, 2022, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

(AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) — Fabian Zetterlund and Kevin Bahl got their first career goals and New Jersey scored twice in the final minute of the second period, sending the Devils to a 6-2 victory over the Arizona Coyotes on Tuesday night.

Tomas Tatar and Jesper Boqvist scored 22 seconds apart late in the second for a 4-2 lead. Yegor Sharangovich scored twice in the last five minutes of the third and added an assist as the Devils won their second straight after breaking a five-game losing streak with a victory Saturday in Dallas.

“It’s always exciting to see anybody get their first goal,” Devils coach Lindy Ruff said. “I haven’t seen Kevin smile that much for a long time. Biggest smile. Congrats to both guys.

“With bigger roles, they have played well for us. I really like the way Fabian played with Nico (Hischier) the other night, and again tonight. It’s good to see them come up and have success.”

Hischier had three assists while skating on a line with Zetterlund and Sharangovich. Nico Daws made 19 saves in his second consecutive victory.

“Got rewarded for playing the game the right way,” Ruff said. “Competed hard on pucks and got guys around the net.”

Nick Schmaltz and Travis Boyd scored for the Coyotes, who have lost four in a row and 11 of 13. Schmaltz has a career-high 23 goals and, with an assist on Boyd’s goal, he tied his career best with 52 points.

The Coyotes have scored five goals in their last four games and have eight goals in six games since losing leading scorer Clayton Keller to a season-ending broken leg.

Zetterlund played in his sixth NHL game, his third since being recalled from Utica of the American Hockey League last Thursday. Bahl was playing in his 15th career game, his eighth this season.

Boyd put the Coyotes up 1-0 just 73 seconds into the game when he beat Daws with a quick wrist shot from the right circle after taking a centering pass from Schmaltz.

Zetterlund tied it when he scored on a wrist shot after a cross-ice pass from Hischier to finish a 2-on-1 break at 10:51 of the first period. Zetterlund has three points in three games since being recalled from Utica.

“It was a really good pass from Nico,” Zetterlund said, “Amazing feeling when I saw it went in. And my whole family (in Sweden) watched it, too, so I’m really happy.”

Arizona’s Phil Kessel hit the far post with four minutes left in the first, and Daws made two point-blank saves seconds apart on a Coyotes power play a minute later to keep the game tied.

Coyotes goalie Karel Vejmelka made a sprawling save to deny Jesper Bratt on a power play early in the second before Bahl made it 2-1 on a slap shot from the right point through traffic at 5:24. Bahl one-timed a clever pass from behind the net from Nathan Bastian that caromed off the side boards.

“Bass made a great play off the wall,” Bahl said. “I’m probably not going to get that type of shot off if he doesn’t throw it off the wall like that. It felt great.”

Coyotes defenseman Kyle Capobianco hit the right post midway through the second.

Schmaltz left the ice after taking hard hit from Ty Smith with about five minutes remaining in the period but came back moments later and skated in alone on the right side for a power-play goal to tie it 2-all at 18:36.

“Momentum right there can go either way,” Ruff said. “They can gain momentum by having a good shift. We countered right away. We got a little fortunate there, but instead of going behind the net Tatar went to the front and we throw a puck quickly to the front of the net.”

Tatar scored on a pass from Bratt at 19:14 after Vejmelka misplayed the puck behind the net and could not get back into position. Boqvist swatted in a rebound in front 22 seconds later, when Vejmelka stopped Janne Kuokkanen’s high wrist shot but could not control it.

Sharangovich scored twice in the final 4:24 to end the scoring.

“I wanted a little bit more from our older guys, personally,” Coyotes coach Andre Tourigny said. “I want them more engaged, and I want them to push a little bit more. I think our young guys need role models and leadership. I felt our team worked hard but I wanted a bit more push.”

NOTES: Coyotes forwards Nathan Smith and Jack McBain made their NHL debuts, with Smith centering the third line and McBain the fourth. “It is a dream come true,” said McBain, who played this season at Boston College. “It was an unfortunate result, but a game I will remember for sure.” The two were acquired in separate deals March 21, McBain from Minnesota for a second-round pick in the 2022 draft and Smith from Winnipeg with Bryan Little for a fourth-round pick in the 2022 draft. … A total of 10 Coyotes have made their NHL debuts this season, a franchise record. … Coyotes D J.J. Moser returned after missing 12 games with an upper-body injury. D Jakob Chychrun (lower body), F Lawson Crouse (upper body), F Christian Fischer (lower body) and F Antoine Roussel (lower body) were out. … Vejmelka’s 45 games are second-most in franchise history for rookie goaltenders. Eldon Reddick played 48 in 1986-87, when the franchise was in Winnipeg.


Devils: Play at Colorado on Thursday, the third stop on a five-game road trip.

Coyotes: Visit the Vancouver Canucks on Thursday.


More AP NHL: https://apnews.com/hub/nhl and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

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