Vejmelka, Coyotes beat Blackhawks 4-1 after Kane trade
TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) — Nick Schmaltz had a goal and an assist, Karel Vejmelka stopped 23 shots and the Arizona Coyotes beat the Patrick Kane-less Chicago Blackhawks 4-1 on Tuesday night.
The Blackhawks came out flat after their star player was traded to the New York Rangers in a three-way deal that included Arizona earlier in the day.
The Coyotes took advantage with first-period goals by Travis Boyd and Barrett Hayton. Jack McBain scored in the second and Vejmelka was sharp after allowing six goals in a loss to Calgary his last start.
Andreas Athanasiou scored late in the third period and Alex Stalock allowed four goals on 33 shots for Chicago.
The Coyotes had turned into a defensive sieve since a nine-game point streak, allowing six goals each in a pair of losses.
Arizona went on the offensive early against Chicago, creating numerous good scoring chances in the first period. Boyd scored midway through the period, beating Stalock on a shot from the right circle that knuckled off Chicago defenseman Ian Mitchell.
Hayton scored late in the first on a high redirect of Schmaltz's shot that trickled through Stalock's skates.
The Blackhawks picked up the pressure in the second but Vejmelka was sharp, making tough saves on a series of Chicago rushes.
McBain made it 3-0 late in the period when his one-timer from the slot popped straight up, bounced several times and trickled into the net.
Schmaltz scored midway through the third, one-timing a pass from Clayton Keller, who circled around the back of the net to the right circle. Schmaltz has seven goals and six assists in his past nine games.
NOTES: Arizona D Jakob Chychrun and Nick Bjugstad were healthy scratches for trade-related reasons. F Laurent Dauphin was recalled from Arizona's AHL affiliate in Tucson. ... D Vili Saarijarvi, part of the Kane trade, was not with the Blackhawks for Tuesday's game. ... Arizona's seven-game home point streak (5-0-2) against Chicago is its longest against an NHL opponent since a 6-0-1 run against Washington from 2008–17.
Blackhawks: Host Dallas on Thursday.
Coyotes: Play at Dallas on Wednesday.
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John Marshall, The Associated Press