NHL
Louis Domingue leads Arizona Coyotes to shutout victory over Islanders
After getting beat a season-high seven times in their previous game, the Coyotes probably would have been encouraged by even marginal improvement as they try to stabilize their lineup sans No. 1 goalie Mike Smith while he’s stuck on injured reserve.

But the Coyotes didn’t take a small step forward Saturday against the Islanders.

They took a giant leap, blanking one of the Eastern Conference’s better teams 1-0 in front of 11,878 at Gila River Arena.

Goalie Louis Domingue earned his first career shutout and second career win with a 25-save performance in his first start of the season.

“That’s what we call a team effort tonight right there,” Domingue said. “We had a solid game in the offensive zone with the puck, and our ‘D’ zone without the puck, so it was really good to see.”

The 23-year-old figured to factor into the team’s goaltending plan while Smith recovers from surgery on a core muscle injury, but not many might have anticipated action this soon for Domingue. He did appear in Thursday’s 7-5 disappointing loss to the Blue Jackets, suffering the defeat after giving up two goals on 10 shots in relief of Anders Lindback, but Domingue received another opportunity Saturday.

Lindback has been feeling ill but was able to serve as Domingue’s backup.

Jaroslav Halak made 28 stops for the Islanders.

“Right now we’re in the position you win, you’re in,” coach Dave Tippett said. “That’s the mindset we got right now. He won. He’s in.”

To be clear, the Coyotes weren’t overpowering, but they were tighter in their own zone as the Islanders weren’t able to exploit the middle of the ice as easily as the Blue Jackets were.

New York didn’t even get a shot off on its first power play.

With 2:01 remaining in the first period, defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson put the Coyotes ahead on a one-timer from the slot that was made possible after a keep-in at the blue line by defenseman Connor Murphy and solid cycle work from wingers Tobias Rieder and Anthony Duclair – both of whom merited assists on the play.




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