Wedgewood stops 27 shots, Coyotes beat Devils 5-0
GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) Scott Wedgewood wanted to play well against his former team. He ended up with his second career shutout.
Wedgewood stopped 27 shots to lead the Arizona Coyotes to a 5-0 victory over the New Jersey Devils on Saturday night.
Wedgewood was playing in place of the injured Antti Raanta and facing New Jersey for the first time since the Devils traded him to the Coyotes in October. Two of his saves came in back-to-back fashion early in the second period when he turned away attempts from Travis Zajac and Drew Stafford from close range.
Another was perhaps more impressive, when Wedgewood sent away a point-blank shot from Stefan Noesen with his pad with just under eight minutes remaining in the second.
”That’s as far as I can reach, I don’t think I can go any further,” Wedgewood said. ”I was lucky enough that he hit me with it.”
Derek Stepan had a goal and an assist, and Jason Demers, Jordan Martinook, Alex Goligoski and Dylan Strome also scored for Arizona, which snapped a three-game losing streak and won at home in regulation for the first time this season. Kevin Connauton and Christian Fischer each had two assists.
Keith Kinkaid finished with 22 saves for New Jersey, which came in with the NHL’s best road record at 9-2-2.
Demers scored into the top far corner of the net 34 seconds into the game off a pass from Stepan. It marked the third straight start that Kinkaid allowed a goal in the opening minute.
”I thought four out of the five goals were gifts,” Devils coach John Hynes said. ”Not the recipe you want to have particularly coming into a back-to-back game.”
Stepan then made it 2-0 when when Devils defenseman John Moore couldn’t clear the puck on a 2-on-1 rush. Moore bobbled the puck away off his stick to Tobias Rieder, who pushed it to Stepan and the Coyotes’ center stuffed the puck past Kinkaid for his fourth with 25 seconds to go in the first.
Martinook was credited with a goal with 2:52 remaining in the second when Connauton’s long shot zipped through traffic in front of the New Jersey net and past Kinkaid.
”It’s nice to get rewarded,” Arizona coach Rick Tocchet said. ”Guys made some good plays.”
Goligoski made it 4-0 with under eight minutes left in the third, and Strome scored his first career goal about 90 seconds later.
”Very happy, very relieved to get that first one, obviously the first one is the hardest to get,” the 20-year-old Strome.
Arizona got its seventh win of the season, breaking a tie with Buffalo – which lost to Pittsburgh – for the fewest victories in the league.
NOTES: Coyotes D Jakob Chychrun has been out all season with a lower-body injury, but could make his season debut Sunday night in Las Vegas. … F Anthony Duclair returned after being scratched the past two games and had an assist. … Arizona Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo was on hand for the ceremonial first puck drop, honored by the Coyotes for recently being named the 2017 National League Manager of the Year. … F Pavel Zacha and D Steven Santini were healthy scratches for the Devils. Zacha had played the past six games, and Santini was held out for the second straight game.
Devils: At Columbus on Tuesday night.
Coyotes: At Vegas on Sunday night.