Vejmelka makes 45 saves for Coyotes in win against Maple Leafs


GLENDALE, Ariz. — Auston Matthews scored in his ninth consecutive road game to set a Toronto Maple Leafs record in a 2-1 loss to the Arizona Coyotes at Gila River Arena on Wednesday.

Matthews had been tied with Daniel Marois (1989-90), Frank Mahovlich (1960-61) and Babe Dye (1920-21) at eight straight road games.

Karel Vejmelka made 45 saves in his fourth career win, and Ryan Dzingel, who had missed the previous seven games with an upper-body injury, scored twice for the Coyotes (8-23-3).

Petr Mrazek, previously 5-0-1 against Arizona, made 16 saves for the Maple Leafs (23-9-3), who were coming off a 4-3 shootout win against the Vegas Golden Knights on Tuesday.

The Maple Leafs, who had points in their previous six games (5-0-1), failed to match a their record for fewest games to reach the 50-point mark, set in 35 games in 1946-47.

Dzingel skated to the edge of the crease and scored off Nick Schmaltz‘s pass from the right wing to give the Coyotes a 2-1 lead at 12:42 of the third period.

Dzingel, playing for the first time since Dec. 10, gave the Coyotes a 1-0 lead at 14:57 of the first by scoring off a rebound of his shot that deflected off the end boards.

The Maple Leafs couldn’t get the puck past Vejmelka in the first two periods despite outshooting the Coyotes 35-12, but Matthews tied it 1-1 14 seconds into the third period.

Matthews adjusted the puck on his stick to shoot it around defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere from the left circle for his 24th goal of the season.

Matthews’ fourth goal in three games came before a large group of friends and family, including his parents, from nearby Scottsdale, Ariz., where he grew up.

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