Clayton Keller and Conor Garland scored goals on Monday afternoon for the host Arizona Coyotes, who held off a furious third-period rally by the New York Islanders to earn a pivotal 2-1 win in Glendale, Ariz.
The win was the second straight for the Coyotes -- their first back-to-back victories since a four-game streak from Dec. 31 through Jan. 7. Arizona is 5-8-4 since then but still entered Monday tied for the final Western Conference wild-card spot with the Calgary Flames.
Goalie Antti Raanta made 28 saves, including nine in the third period.
Anthony Beauvillier scored in the third period to snap the Islanders' scoreless streak at 166 minutes and 46 seconds, but New York could not get the equalizer as it lost its third straight and remained tied for third place in the Metropolitan Division with the Columbus Blue Jackets. Both teams are one point ahead of the second wild card, the Philadelphia Flyers.
Goalie Semyon Varlamov recorded 30 saves.
The Coyotes opened the scoring early in the first following an end-to-end rush. Phil Kessel weaved his way through the neutral zone before passing to Keller, who moved from the left faceoff circle into the slot and fired a shot into a crowded goalmouth that glanced off Islanders defenseman Nick Leddy and fluttered over the glove of Varlamov at 4:58.
Christian Dvorak played a pivotal role in the sequence that ended with the Coyotes doubling their lead 3:53 into the third. Dvorak won a faceoff from the Islanders' Leo Komarov before establishing himself in front of the net. He then backhanded a pass to Garland, who tucked the puck into the open corner of the net as Varlamov was stuck leaning to his left.
Beauvillier ensured the Islanders would not be shut out for a team-record third consecutive game at 6:42 when he got a stick on a shot by Andy Greene, who was playing his first game with the team after being acquired from the New Jersey Devils on Sunday.
New York had a handful of chances in the final minute, but a shot by Anders Lee with about 20 seconds left sailed wide of the net and Raanta smothered Lee's backhand just before the horn.
--Field Level Media