Scoring hard to come by, Coyotes lose third straight
NEW YORK -- Johnny Boychuk picked a great time for the first short-handed goal of his career.
The veteran defenseman's goal early in the third period lifted the New York Islanders to a 3-2 victory over the Arizona Coyotes on Friday night. It was a key win for a team playing 22 of its first 34 games at Barclays Center, including their current run of 10 of 11 at home.
"It was a good win for us, especially at home," said Boychuk, who has 38 career goals. "We need to get as many home points as we can while we have this home stretch."
Dennis Seidenberg and Ryan Strome also scored for New York, and Jaroslav Halak stopped 23 shots to help the Islanders win for the second time in three home games after opening with two road losses.
Boychuk's goal at 4:24 of the final period -- with teammate Calvin de Haan in the penalty box -- came after Brock Nelson won a faceoff in the Coyotes' zone and sent the puck back to Boychuk at the point. Boychuk fired a shot that found its way past Louis Domingue for his first goal of the season.
"He won the face-off clean and it was rolling," Boychuk added. "It took a 12-to-6 curve ball and went in."
Brad Richardson and Radim Vrbata scored 13 seconds apart in the first period to tie the score for the Coyotes. Domingue had 28 saves as Arizona lost its third straight on the road after opening with a home win.
"You just have to turn the page, it's been a tough start to the year," said Domingue, elevated with starter Mike Smith injured earlier this week. "I know Boychuk is a shooter in that situation. Sometimes pucks just find their way."
The game marked the first NHL meeting between the Strome brothers. Dylan Strome, 19, was the third overall pick by the Coyotes in the 2015 draft and made his debut earlier this week. Ryan Strome, 23, was the fifth overall pick in the Islanders in the 2011 draft.
Seidenberg opened the scoring at 4:45 of the first with his first goal as an Islander, rifling the puck past Domingue after a cross-ice pass from Casey Cizikas. The 35-year-old Seidenberg joined the Islanders after playing the last seven seasons with Boston.
Ryan Strome made it 2-0 with about 6 1/2 minutes left, knocking a rebound past Domingue for his second of this season. Boychuk got his 100th career assist on the play.
"It was pretty weird," Ryan Strome said about facing his younger brother. "Honestly, it's tough because you're watching and making sure your brother is doing alright too."
Richardson pulled the Coyotes within one with 5:51 remaining in the period before veteran Vrbata tied when he tipped a shot by rookie defenseman Jakob Chychrun past Halak.
Shane Doan, the Coyotes' 40-year-old captain and third among active NHL players in games played with 1,470, assisted on Richardson's goal.
Domingue made key saves on Jason Chimera and Andrew Ladd on point-blank shots from in front as the Islanders had a 16-4 edge on shots in the second period.
The Islanders are 2-1 at home against Western Conference opponents this season after going 12-0-2 at Barclays Center a year ago.
"We competed hard but we have to find ways to win," Coyotes coach Dave Tippett said. "We have to keep pounding away at it. We have to do a better job of executing to give us a better chance to win."
Islanders defenseman Ryan Pulock made his season debut with Nick Leddy out with an upper-body injury. However, Pulock played only five shifts in the first period before leaving with a lower-body injury.
NOTES: The Coyotes are halfway through a six-game trip that continues against the New York Rangers, New Jersey and Philadelphia. ... Arizona concludes its season series against the Islanders at home on Jan. 7. ... New York is 2-0-0 when scoring first, and 0-3-0 when giving up the first goal. ... Ladd, the Islanders' big free-agent acquisition this summer, has no points through the first five games. ... Nelson (2 goals, 3 assists) has at least a point in four of the Islanders' first five games.
Coyotes: At the New York Rangers on Sunday night.
Islanders: Host Minnesota on Sunday night in the fourth contest of their five-game homestand.