Barrett Hayton scored the go-ahead, third-period goal — getting the best of rival teenager Jack Hughes in the process — as the Arizona Coyotes defeated the host Devils 5-3 in Newark, N.J., on Friday night.
It was the first career goal for the 19-year-old Hayton, the fifth-overall pick in 2018 playing in his first season in the NHL.
Hughes, the NHL’s No. 1 overall pick this year, had the best game of his young career, scoring one goal and adding two assists. After not getting a goal or assist in his first six NHL games, Hughes is now on a three-game points streak.
Arizona also got goals from Nick Schmaltz, Michael Grabner, Oliver Ekman-Larsson and Clayton Keller (empty-netter), and Antti Raanta made 32 saves.
Schmaltz also had the primary assist on Hayton’s winner. Grabner’s goal was his 22nd career short-handed score.
New Jersey also got goals from Sami Vatanen and Pavel Zacha. Devils goalie Mackenzie Blackwood made 12 saves.
New Jersey dominated the first period with a 16-6 advantage on shots, going 1-for-2 on its power play and killing off its only penalty. Yet, the Devils only led 2-1 after Schmaltz scored with just 17 seconds left in the period.
New Jersey’s first goal came with 3:31 left in the first period — eight seconds after a high-sticking penalty against Arizona’s Derek Stepan had expired. Vatanen took a pass from Hughes and fired a shot from a sharp angle. The puck bounced in off the skate of Arizona defenseman Alex Goligoski.
The Devils made it 2-0 with 1:34 left in the first. Hughes corralled a slightly off-target cross-ice pass from former league MVP Taylor Hall and then scored with a wrist shot from the right circle as the puck sailed over Raanta’s left shoulder.
But despite those early fireworks for the Devils, Arizona tied the score 2-2 with 2:01 gone in the second period on Grabner’s short-handed goal. Grabner picked up a loose puck on a pass that was intended for Devils defenseman P.K. Subban. Grabner, with blazing speed, skated in on a breakaway and flipped the puck up and in with his backhand.
The teams traded two goals 31 seconds apart midway through the second period, leaving the teams tied 3-3 after two periods. Zacha, on a long lead pass from Hughes, scored off the far post for New Jersey, and Ekman-Larsson ripped home a shot after some tough forechecking by teammate Lawson Crouse.
With 1:45 expired in the third, Hayton skated to the front of the net and tapped in a great pass from Schmaltz for a 4-3 Arizona lead. Keller’s empty-netter with 40 seconds left sealed the deal.
—Field Level Media