GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) Rookies stole the show and gave the Arizona Coyotes a needed win.
Brendan Perlini scored his first career goal and fellow rookie Lauren Dauphin also scored and the Coyotes beat the Nashville Predators 4-1 Saturday night to snap a six-game winless streak.
”A lot of guys stepped up tonight,” Perlini said. ”That was the main thing. We just played an overall good game.”
Alex Gorigoski and Martin Hanzal added goals for the Coyotes, who were 0-3-3 since their last win at Edmonton on Nov. 27.
”It’s really hopeful when you have seven rookies in the lineup and (five) rookies score,” Coyotes coach Dave Tippett said. ”We need to get our young players up and going but also need to have our veterans step up and lead.”
Arizona scored four goals for the first time since Nov. 8 after totaling four in its previous four games.
The Coyotes’ first goal was set up by another rookie, Lawson Crouse, who outraced two defenders to fend off an icing call, then fired a pass from behind the net to Alex Goligoski for a one-timer with 7:10 remaining in the first.
”No matter if I have a step on a guy or am behind him, I’m trying to beat it out,” Crouse said. ”I put it on Golgi’s stick and he made a great play.”
Dauphin made it 2-0 just 1:57 later when he tapped in a rebound from the left side of the crease after Tyler Gaudet’s initial shot bounced off the right post.
Roman Josi pulled Nashville to 2-1 with 4:10 remaining in the period when he beat Smith from the right point with a shot that deflected off Arizona defenseman Jakob Chychrun’s stick.
Perlini, playing in his fourth game since being called up from the minors, extended Arizona’s lead to 3-1 with 7:12 left in the second, taking a pass from Shane Doan between the hashes and scoring over Pekka Rinne’s glove.
Hanzal added a goal off a rebound with 4:28 to go to cap the scoring.
Rinne made 30 saves for the Predators, who have lost four of five (1-3-1). Nashville is 9-2-2 at home but has the Western Conference’s worst road record at 3-9-2.
”We’ve got to play faster and better than we are doing,” Predators coach Peter Laviolette said.
Mike Smith made 42 saves for the Coyotes.
”We had some looks but obviously it’s not good enough,” Predators forward Austin Watson said. ”We knew we were in for a battle tonight and we didn’t get the job done.”
Doan had a chance to score his 400th career goal when he was awarded a penalty shot 53 seconds into the third after being pulled down by Viktor Arvidsson on a breakaway, but shot directly into Rinne’s stomach.
NOTES: Doan is scoreless on six career penalty shots. … Coyotes D Connor Murphy left the game with an upper-body injury. … Nashville D Yannick Weber played in his 300th career game. … Goligoski’s goal was his first with the Coyotes and 56th in 589 career games. … Before the game, the Coyotes placed LW Max Domi, on injured reserve with an upper-body injury. Domi, who has five goals and 11 assists in 25 games, is listed as week-to-week. … Dauphin and D Anthony DeAngelo both were recalled from Tucson of the AHL earlier Saturday.