Grabner helps Coyotes throttle Lightning

GLENDALE, Ariz. — Celebrating several of their season-high seven goals to the strains of “Werewolves of London,” Arizona took a bite out of Tampa Bay in a 7-1 victory Saturday.

And a Coyotes’ team that was shut out in three of its first four games has gravitated to the other extreme, scoring 22 goals in the last five games while winning three in a row and four of five to reach .500 of the first time this season.

Michael Grabner scored two short-handed goals, Brad Keller scored his fifth goal of the season and Vinnie Hinostroza scored his third in support of Antta Raanta, who made 29 saves in his first game back after missing previous two with flu-like symptoms.

“A lot of games we lost, we played really, good structured hockey ” Grabner said. “We just weren’t scoring. Now the puck is going in for a lot of guys, and it is easier to be confident out there with the puck.”

Jordan Oesterle, Derek Stepan and Richard Panik scored their first goals of the season for the Coyotes, who broke the Lightning’s seven-game points streak.

Adam Erne scored his first goal of the season to break Raanta’s shutout at 9:27 of the third period.

Tampa Bay (7-2-1), which had not lost since falling to Vancouver in the second game of the season, was playing its fifth game in eight days while finishing a five-game road trip.

“You look on your schedule and this probably sets up as a tough one for us,” Tampa Bay coach Jon Cooper said.

“Can’t predict it’d be a 7-1 tough one for us. We weren’t our best tonight, that was clear.”

Oesterle, Keller and Stepan scored in the first 13 minutes of the first period as the Coyotes scored three of their first five shots. It was 5-0 after two periods.

“They were a tired club and we had energy tonight,” said Arizona coach Rich Tocchet, adding of the early burst, “It loosens guys up. When you get a couple of shots in early, the guys feel a little calmer on the bench.

“When you are not scoring, that is when people get tight. You could feel the bench was real loose.”

Arizona’s fifth goal came on Grabner’s first short-handed score at 11:48 of the second period. He added another at 8:59 of the third.

The Coyotes lead the NHL with five short-handed goals and have given up only three power plays goals in 28 chances after killing four of Tampa Bay’s five power plays.

“We have chemistry, reading off each other to make plays,” Grabner said. “Right now we are getting chances. For me, the main focus is to kill off the penalty and maybe change momentum.”

Lightning goalie Louis Domingue made 23 saves in his first game against his former team.

Brad Richardson and Alex Goligoski had two assists apiece and Raanta had one. Raanta has three career assists, the last while with the Rangers in 2016-17.

The turnaround has not taken the Coyotes by surprise.

“We were still OK with the way we were playing (early in the season), we just couldn’t score,” Goligoski said. “That’s caught up to us now.

NOTES: Goalie Antti Raanta returned after missing the previous two games with flu-like symptoms.

UP NEXT

Coyotes host Ottawa on Tuesday in the third game of a five-game homestand.