The Associated Press
Jose M. Romero
GLENDALE, Ariz.–The Arizona Coyotes watched the most prolific scorer and longest-tenured player in franchise history get his number retired, then took to the ice and made their former captain proud.
Lawson Crouse scored the go-ahead goal in the second period as Arizona beat the Winnipeg Jets 4-1 last night after honouring Shane Doan.
“‘Doaner’ gave us some juice tonight, I’ll tell you that,” said Coyotes’ coach Rick Tocchet, a former teammate of Doan’s.
“It was a fun hockey game to coach because I could tell the crowd was into it,” he added.
“It helps the players when you get fans screaming and yelling and cheering you on. . . .”
Brad Richardson, Clayton Keller, and Josh Archibald also scored for Arizona.
Alex Goligoski added two assists while Darcy Kuemper stopped 34 shots, sending the Central Division leaders to their fourth loss in five games.
The Coyotes, meanwhile, kept pace in the Western Conference playoff race–winning their third-straight game and fourth in five.
They are three points behind Minnesota for the second wild-card berth.
Patrik Laine scored early before Winnipeg was shut out for almost 58 minutes.
Laurent Brossoit made 20 saves in taking the loss.
A sell-out crowd was on hand to see Doan’s No. 19 raised to the rafters at Gila River Arena before a game that matched the two teams he played for during his 21 seasons in the NHL.
“Such an honour to be here to witness that ceremony, and it was an awesome night for him and his family,” Keller said.
“It’s even better that we got the win, too.”
Winnipeg drafted Doan in 1995, and the following season that version of the Jets moved to the desert. He went on to set club records for goals, assists, points, and games played.
The Coyotes didn’t seem bothered by a pre-game ceremony that all of them happily sat through, though it ran much longer than anticipated.
“After the first little bit, we took over the game,” Richardson noted.
Laine gave the large number of Jets’ fans in attendance something to cheer about quickly. An early tripping penalty gave Winnipeg a power play and Laine fired in Blake Wheeler’s pass with a one-timer at 2:11 of the first period.
It was Laine’s 28th goal of the season–second-most on the Jets. Wheeler got his 60th assist, which is second-most in the NHL.
Wheeler also became the first player in franchise history to have 60 assists in consecutive seasons.
The Coyotes tied it at 5:43 when Richardson cleaned up Goligoski’s run to the net for his 12th goal of the season.
In the second period, Crouse tried a backhand that went off Brossoit and back to the Jets’ Ben Chiarot, who deflected the puck into the net.
Crouse was credited with the goal and the Coyotes had a 2-1 lead at 7:40.
“The bounces weren’t going and things are tough for us right now,” Wheeler said.
“It’s just something we’ve got to work through.”
Keller made it 3-1 at 13:46. Alex Galchenyuk delivered a pass from along the boards right onto Keller’s stick for an open left-handed shot that eluded Brossoit.
The Coyotes came close to a short-handed goal in the final seconds of the second, but it was disallowed when officials ruled Goligoski kicked the puck into the net.
Archibald scored into an empty net with 31 seconds to play.
Kuemper stopped 18 shots in the third period.
Winnipeg lost top-pair defenceman Josh Morrissey to an apparent upper-body injury in the third, but coach Paul Maurice said the Jets will deal with it when they return home.
Elsewhere in the NHL, Calgary nipped Ottawa 2-1, Minnesota edged St. Louis 2-1 (OT), Dallas downed Chicago 4-3, Washington topped the N.Y. Rangers 6-5 (OT), and San Jose beat Detroit 5-3.