The Arizona Coyotes had a third period goal by Connor Murphy that held up as the game-winner in a 3-2 win over the Maple Leafs on Tuesday. It was the first regulation loss by Toronto in seven games.
A bizarre first period sequence led to the teams combining for three goals in 21 seconds. After James van Riemsdyk opened the scoring on the power play, the Coyotes got a fortunate bounce off the ensuing faceoff when the puck was dumped into the Leafs’ end. The puck took a strange bounce off the end boards, right into the middle of the slot where Arizona captain Shane Doan was waiting, tying the game just seven seconds after van Riemsdyk’s goal.
The Coyotes took the lead 14 seconds later, capitalizing on a turnover by Leafs defenceman Martin Marincin. Kyle Chipchura hit the goal post, but the rebound went right to Doan, who made no mistake in netting his second marker of the game.
The final moments of the first period belonged to Coyoted goalie Louis Dominique. The netminder stopped Byron Froese on a two-man breakaway, and also denied Michael Grabner on a penalty shot that was awarded with just 5.7 seconds left in the opening frame.
Nazem Kadri had the only goal of the second period, his sixth marker of the year that tied the game 2-2.
Murphy’s game-winner was a point shot that eluded Jonathan Bernier at 6:06 of the third period. Bernier wound up making 20 saves in a losing effort.
“I thought we did a lot of good things. We should have scored, we didn’t finish. Bottom line,” coach Mike Babcock said to reporters after the game.