Bjugstad's OT goal leads Coyotes past Avalanche
TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) — Nick Bjugstad scored 4:39 into overtime and the Arizona Coyotes extended their win streak to a season-high three games with a 4-3 victory over the Colorado Avalanche on Thursday night.
The Coyotes' win streak has come against the last three Stanley Cup winners — Tampa Bay (2021), Colorado (2022) and Vegas (2023). The Tampa Bay and Colorado wins were at 4,400-seat Mullett Arena.
“That says we are competitive and we can compete against anybody in the league,” Coyotes coach Andre Tourigny said. "The other thing it says, the character and the brotherhood in that room. The care level of those guys. The urgency we have and the focus level we have, it's unbelievable. It's a blessing to watch those guys play every night.”
Bjugstad was slashed by Bowen Byram on a breakaway in overtime that was nearly a penalty shot. Seconds after the resulting power play expired, Bjugstad beat Alexandar Georgiev for his fifth goal of the season.
Arizona dropped three in a row before its win streak.
“We knew we had better, and we did,” Bjugstad said. “It's trending in the right direction for sure. Obviously we had that little rough patch but the last three games, playing these teams, we really bonded and cleaned up what we needed to clean up. This group, I think the sky's the limit.”
Nathan MacKinnon, Cale Makar and Miles Wood scored for the Avalanche, who had won seven of eight and were attempting to tie the New York Rangers for the league lead in victories at 16. Georgiev finished with 29 stops.
“It was a hard-fought game,” Colorado coach Jared Bednar said. “They are a good team. I didn't think we played our best tonight. ... Would have loved to have two points out of it but take the one and learn from it.”
Makar’s power-play goal gave the Avalanche a 1-0 lead with 28.4 seconds remaining in the first period. His rising shot got through a Devon Toews screen and beat Ingram over his left shoulder.
Makar has seven goals this season and leads NHL defensemen with 25 points in November.
Boyd tied it three minutes into the second when he tipped Liam O’Brien’s shot from in front. Wood gave the Avalanche a 2-1 lead less than two minutes later when he took a pass off the sideboards and threaded his way to the front of the net to beat Ingram.
Schmaltz tied it again 11 seconds into a power play late in the second. He took an Alex Kerfoot feed from behind the net and one-timed it past Georgiev.
“We love playing here," Kerfoot said. “It doesn't matter how many are out there. They come and they support us.”
Carcone scored 68 seconds into the third when he skated from behind the net and put the puck in off the far post for a 3-2 lead, but the Avalanche tied it on MacKinnon’s power-play goal with nine minutes remaining.
McKinnon has five goals and 21 points in his last 12 games. Carcone has three goals in his last two games, including two in a 3-1 victory over Tampa Bay on Monday.
“I’m proud the way we played this week, but that means nothing next week unless we stay humble and we understand what made us successful," Tourigny said. “It’s one day at a time. If you fly too high, the league will humble you pretty quickly.”
Avalanche: At Anaheim on Saturday
Coyotes: Host St. Louis on Saturday.
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