Knights lose first game of season; fall 5-2 at Arizona

Golden Knights

Arizona Coyotes center Christian Dvorak (18) scores a goal against Vegas Golden Knights goaltender Robin Lehner (90) as Golden Knights defenseman Alex Pietrangelo (7), Coyotes center Nick Schmaltz, second from right, and Coyotes right wing Conor Garland look on during the first period of an NHL hockey game Friday, Jan. 22, 2021, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) — Conor Garland had a goal and an assist, Darcy Kuemper stopped 29 shots and the Arizona Coyotes handed the Vegas Golden Knights their first loss of the season, 5-2. The Coyotes bounced back from a drubbing two nights earlier in Vegas with one of their best games of the early season. Kuemper made some spectacular saves and Arizona got contributions throughout the lineup after losing the first two games of four straight against the Golden Knights. Vegas’ Shea Theodore scored his third goal in two games and had an assist. 

PUCK DROP: Knights to start Robin Lehner in net tonight, continuing their rotation of goalkeepers. Forward Cody Glass in the lineup, defenseman Nick Hague out. Knights going with 5 defensemen. Limited fans are being allowed in the game in Glendale, AZ.

FIRST PERIOD: Coyotes Christian Dvorak (Snap shot), Assist: Conor Garland. COYOTES 1, KNIGHTS 1 3:22 into period. SCORE: COYOTES 1, KNIGHTS 0 after 1. SHOTS ON GOAL: Knights 11, Coyotes 11.

SECOND PERIOD: Knights defenseman Shea Theodore(3) scores at 1:19 into period on a wrist shot. KNIGHTS 1, COYOTES 1.

Coyotes Derik Brassard(1) scores on a wrist shot at 7:55. COYOTES 2, KNIGHTS 1.

Coyotes Nick Schmaltz (Wrist shot), Assists: Conor Garland and Drake Caggiula. COYOTES 3, KNIGHTS 1.

SHOTS ON GOAL: Coyotes 21, Knights 20.

THIRD PERIOD: Coyotes Conor Garland scores (Backhand shot) at 1:35. COYOTES 4, KNIGHTS 1.

Knights power play goal Cody Glass(1) (Tip-in shot), Assists: Mark Stone and Shea Theodore. COYOTES 4, KNIGHTS 2 midway through period.

Coyotes Jordan Oesterle (Empty net shot), Assist: Lawson Crouse. COYOTES 5, KNIGHTS 2, FINAL

SHOTS ON GOAL: Knights 31, Coyotes 26.

Vegas Golden Knights (4-0-0, first in the West Division) vs. Arizona Coyotes (1-2-1, fifth in the West Division)

Glendale, Arizona; Friday, 6 p.m. PST

BOTTOM LINE: Vegas visits the Arizona Coyotes after Reilly Smith scored two goals in the Golden Knights’ 4-2 victory over the Coyotes.

Arizona went 33-29-8 overall and 11-8-4 in division play in the 2019-20 season. The Coyotes averaged 2.7 goals on 31.7 shots per game last season.

Vegas finished 15-6-2 in division play and 17-13-4 on the road a season ago. The Golden Knights scored 224 total goals last season averaging 3.2 per game.

The teams play for the second straight game.

INJURIES: Coyotes: Barrett Hayton: out (undisclosed).

Golden Knights: None listed.

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