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Nick Schmaltz’s late offense leads Coyotes past Devils

Nick Schmaltz scored the tying goal in the third period and capped the shootout with the winning goal on Friday for the Arizona Coyotes, who opened their season by edging the New Jersey Devils 4-3 in Newark, N.J.

Schmaltz scored from the left faceoff circle with 6:05 left in regulation, 71 seconds after Brendan Smith was whistled for tripping.

Nick Bjugstad scored on the Coyotes’ first attempt in the shootout before Schmaltz sealed the win in the next shot.

Matt Dumba scored in the first period and Sean Durzi doubled the lead in the second for the Coyotes, who won a season opener for the first time since a 4-3 overtime win over the Philadelphia Flyers on Oct. 15, 2016.

Arizona goalie Karel Vejmelka had 33 saves. Clayton Keller and Logan Cooley each had two assists for the Coyotes, and Schmaltz added an assist.

Jesper Bratt scored twice and had an assist in the Devils’ three-goal flurry in the second period. New Jersey missed a chance to open 2-0-0 for the second time in three years.

Dougie Hamilton contributed a goal and an assist and Jack Hughes had the primary assist on all three goals for the Devils. Goalie Akira Schmid recorded 30 saves.

The Coyotes outshot the Devils 14-8 in the first period and took the lead 6:22 after the opening faceoff. Schmaltz emerged from a scrum in the neutral zone with the puck and dished to Clayton Keller, who weaved into the slot before sending a no-look pass to Dumba. The defenseman then fired a shot beyond Schmid’s glove.

The Devils’ Jonas Siegenthaler was whistled for interference to generate the power play that led to Durzi’s goal 4:23 into the second period. The defenseman’s shot from the top of the slot sailed past Schmid, who was screened by four players.

The Devils began their comeback with a four-on-four goal less than four minutes later.

A clearing pass by Hamilton jumpstarted a two-on-one in which Hughes and Bratt descended upon Vejmelka with only Dumba in between them. Hughes passed to Bratt, who went to one knee and sent a shot past the stick of the sprawling Vejmelka at the 8:09 mark.

After New Jersey’s John Marino sent to the penalty box for a delay of game penalty at 10:46 of the middle period, Arizona’s Bjugstad (high-sticking) and Jason Zucker (tripping) were whistled for penalties within the next 59 seconds to generate the Devils’ four-on-three. It ended with Hamilton scoring from above the right faceoff circle at 12:29.

Bratt put the Devils ahead with another power-play goal at 18:53 of the second

–Field Level Media

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