Numerous contributions from bottom-six forwards gave the Arizona Coyotes an important road win
Backed by an impressive record against the Toronto Maple Leafs in their own building, the Arizona Coyotes battled for another road win to continue their push for a playoff spot in the Western Conference.
The start of the game was productive for the home team with Travis Dermott scoring and even featured an assist from struggling William Nylander. The Leafs pretty much controlled all the pace of the play.
It took the second period for a rebound performance from the Coyotes and they were rewarded with a goal from hardworking forward Mario Kempe. His exciting breakaway goal to tie the game was set up by Ontario native Lawson Crouse.
Arizona was never going to trail in the game again and it didn't take long All-Star forward Clayton Keller to score a beautiful goal short side on Frederik Andersen and give his team the lead 2-1.
The third period was even more exciting
Toronto came hunting for a tying goal and they finally got it after a smart play in the offensive zone. Zach Hyman won a face-off to Mitch Marner and set up John Tavares for a terrific one-timer with no chance for Darcy Kuemper.
Despite that, a go-ahead goal by the Coyotes completely shut down the Leafs momentum and quieted down the Scotiabank Arena, when Vinnie Hinostroza scored on a rebound at the side of the net.
To end the night, Lawson Crouse would come to the scoreboard once again scoring with an empty netter giving the game final numbers as the Coyotes won the game 4-2.
The Desert Dogs continued their dominance of the Leafs in their own building by increasing their record in Toronto to an impressive 8-0-1. It couldn't have come at a better time with the Coyotes scratching for a playoff spot. They are just four points out of it.
"Big-time proud. About a month ago, when things were going bad, we all got together and said we can go one way or the other. We can turn it right or it's going to be an awful year. Everybody's bought in and our defense is really the heartbeat of our team. If they can hold us together back there, we usually can compete with most teams." -- Coyotes coach Rick Tocchet
"Just by watching, you can see the commitment we've had to playing on top of teams, playing defensive and playing as a team, including tonight," Kuemper said. "We're having a lot of success doing it lately. We're working hard so we just have to keep it going."
Next challenge for the Coyotes is a visit to the Ottawa Senators on Tuesday night followed by a back-to-back game against the Montreal Canadiens.
Can the Coyotes keep their good run of five wins in their last six games against the Ottawa Senators? Let us know in the comment section below!