Schmaltz’s 4 points help Coyotes waltz past Red Wings, 9-2
DETROIT (AP) — Nick Schmaltz followed his franchise-record seven-point game with two goals and two assists, and the Arizona Coyotes overwhelmed the Detroit Red Wings 9-2 on Tuesday.
Schmaltz had two goals and five assists in an 8-5 victory over Ottawa on Saturday, and his 11 points in two games is also a franchise record.
“It’s pretty special,” Schmaltz said. “The franchise has been around a long time, a lot of great players, so it’s pretty cool to have your name in something like that. Hopefully, we can just keep it going.”
Jakob Chychrun and Nick Ritchie each had two goals and an assist and Barrett Hayton notched four assists for the Coyotes, who have won three straight for the first time this season.
Travis Boyd, Christian Fischer and Clayton Keller also scored for Arizona, while Karel Vejmelka made 26 saves.
“Can’t really put a finger on it,” Schmaltz said of the team’s offensive outburst. “Obviously we’re getting some good bounces, the puck’s kind of finding our sticks and we’re not missing many. We’re burying our chances when we get them and we’re creating a lot more than we have in the past. So it’s pretty fun to score a lot of goals.”
Jakub Vrana scored in his season debut for the Red Wings. He’d been sidelined since training camp recovering from shoulder surgery. Robby Fabbri also scored for Detroit, which has lost five of its last six. Alex Nedeljkovic made 20 saves.
“We didn’t skate at all, and you have no chance at success when you play like that,” Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill said.
The Coyotes led 3-1 after the first period. Boyd scored his 11th goal just 1:06 into the game off a rebound of a Schmaltz shot.
Fabbri answered with his 17th goal during a power play.
Ritchie and Chychrun each scored from close range within the first 14 minutes, and Arizona scored three more times in the first five minutes of the second period.
Schmaltz fired in his 15th goal from the right circle, prompting Detroit coach Jeff Blashill to replace Nedeljkovic with Thomas Greiss.
It didn’t slow Arizona, as Chychrun scored again on a one-timer off a Hayton pass. Ritchie then scored against Greiss, forcing Blashill to bring back Nedeljkovic.
“... (W)hen we’ve gotten a lead, we kind of laid back and let teams back in the game,” Keller said of this season. “So it’s a good step in the right direction, just staying on top of them and not letting that lead get away from us.”
Vrana’s power-play goal with three minutes left in the period was answered two minutes later by Schmaltz, who scored on a rebound.
“Sometimes you play really well, you have a lot of chances and the puck cannot find the back of the net,” Arizona coach Andre Tourigny said. “And sometimes the puck bounces on your stick and it’s a really fortunate situation. Right now, we’re confident. We have momentum, we know we can score and our top guys are playing really well offensively.”
The Red Wings left the ice embarrassed.
“This performance was worth boos,” center Dylan Larkin said. “We can’t show up on home ice at this point of the season and play like that in front of our fans. We have to look like we want to be out there.”
Red Wings C Dylan Larkin has a point in 11 straight home games. ... Arizona was starting a five-game road trip. … The Coyotes have defeated Detroit in four straight meetings. Their last four-game win streak against the Red Wings came during the 1998-99 and 1999-2000 seasons. … The last time the Coyotes/Jets franchise scored 8+ goals in back-to-back games was Oct. 20-23, 1985.
Coyotes: Visit Toronto Maple Leafs on Thursday.
Red Wings: Host Minnesota Wild on Thursday.
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