TEMPE, Ariz. — The Arizona Coyotes held a team meeting after the All-Star break in hopes of finding some spark in another disappointing season.
Whatever was said, it worked and made the Coyotes one of the better teams in the NHL since the break.
Travis Boyd scored twice, Ivan Prosvetov made 29 stops and the Coyotes extended their scoring streak to seven games with a 3-2 win over the Vancouver Canucks on Thursday night.
“We kind of hit the refresh button and we’ve been positive every day since then and we’re playing right,” said Coyotes forward Lawson Crouse, who scored in the third half. “That’s what led us to all these wins and points streaks.”
Prosvetov helped the Coyotes weather a string of early penalties in his second start this season, and Boyd had his second multiple goal game this month after going five seasons without one.
Arizona is 5-0-2 since losing to Carolina on March 3, has won five straight home games and his 25 points since the All-Star break are seventh-best in the NHL.
PHOTOS: Boyd scores twice as Coyotes defeats Canucks 3-2
“We have a lot of trust in each other right now,” Boyd said. “We proved to ourselves that if we play right, we can be with any team every night. I think that’s what you’re looking at right now.”
Vancouver’s Elias Pettersson scored one goal and one assist, and Andrei Kuzmenko scored for the second straight game. Thatcher Demko had 24 saves for the Canucks, who went 0-5 on the power play to end their five-game winning streak.
“We accomplished that goal and maybe we thought it would be easy,” Canucks coach Rick Tocchet said on his first return to his old team. “You just have to work, plain and simple.”
Prosvetov was briefly sharp in his first start of the season, parrying 39 shots in a win against Nashville on March 9 after learning he’d been recalled by the AHL from Tucson just before noon.
The Russian rookie barely had a chance to stop the puck when Coyotes defenseman Michael Kesserling played a bad pass into his own end midway through the first period. Kuzmenko, the NHL’s top marksman with 27.3%, finished Pettersson and Anthony Beauvillier’s tic-tac-toe passes just outside the goal line.
The Coyotes gathered some steam after a penalty-filled first period, including Zack Kassian’s game misconduct, and tied it to Boyd’s wrist from the left circle with 30 seconds left.
Boyd made a power play in the second half when he edged around Vancouver defenseman Tyler Myers and slipped a shot between Demko’s pads.
The Canucks conceded another penalty early in the third period, and Crouse conceded by putting a sharp shot over Demko’s batter’s shoulder.
“You’re in the third at two or whatever, they score the first or second shift, you’re not going to come back every time,” Canucks defense attorney Quinn Hughes said.
Vancouver then increased the pressure and Pettersson beat Prosvetov from the left circle to make it 3-2.
The Canucks pulled Demko for an extra attacker in the final two minutes, but Prosvetov made a couple of late saves to salvage the win.
BOYDS STEP BACK
Boyd set career highs with 17 goals and 35 points a year ago and had a solid start to the season.
The veteran winger had a quiet spell en route to the All-Star break but has since ramped up his performance. Boyd has three goals in his last two games and eight goals since the All-Star break, with four assists.
“I think maybe he has a lot on his mind or whatever,” said Coyotes coach Andre Tourigny. “He’s cleaning up and playing really good hockey now.”
Coyotes F Nick Schmaltz missed his third straight game with a lower body injury. Vancouver signed F. Aidan McDonough to a two-year entry-level contract. He has spent the last four years at Northeastern and was drafted by the Canucks in the seventh round of the 2019 NHL draft. …Arizona recalled F Bokondji Imama from Tucson. … Arizona’s Clayton Keller had an assist on Boyd’s second goal to extend his scoring streak to seven games (6-7-12).
Vancouver: Saturday night in Los Angeles.
Arizona: host Chicago on Saturday night.
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