There are plenty of things the Arizona Coyotes haven't done this season, but fans can finally check "three-game winning streak" off of that list.
A hat trick changed post-game to a two-goal night from Antoine Vermette and 30 saves by Devan Dunbyk led the Coyotes past the Philadelphia Flyers 4-2 in front of 16,521 on Monday night in Glendale. The win pushed Arizona's winning streak to three games and breathed new life into a team sitting near the bottom of the NHL standings.
The Coyotes weathered an early flurry by the Flyers, emerging with the game's first three goals. A late rally gave the Flyers life, but Arizona, doing what they struggled so mightily to do earlier in the season, held on and grabbed two points.
"I thought it was a real competitive game," coach Dave Tippett said. "We were able to get a lead on a fortunate goal...we capitalized on some opportunities and we defended pretty well."
Dubnyk was sensational yet again, stopping all but two shots en route to his ninth win of the season, nearly two-thirds of the team's win total.
"He's a big part of our success lately, he's been really solid," Vermette said. "He's given us a really strong performance and gives us a chance to win every night. His demeanor factor speaks for itself, I think. He plays with a lot of confidence and he keeps things under control, so I think he's been contagious throughout the team."
He has been the team's best player during the winning streak and that is certainly not a coincidence.
"He's in good shape," Tippett said. "He had a really tough year last year and he came in just looking for an opportunity with a great attitude. I think he's played solid all year."
It didn't hurt that the Coyotes gave Dubnyk some margin for error.
Arizona struck first on a Shane Doan's first home goal of the 2014-15 season. Doan reared back and fired a slap shot that beat Steve Mason five-hole. Initially ruled Doan's goal, the official scorer gave the tally to Vermette then back to Doan. Vermette would get one of his own the following period.
The majority of Vermette's goals have come in first periods this season, but that did not stop No. 50 from potting his first official goal of the night in the middle frame. The 32-year-old cleaned up a rebound in the crease, tapping the puck over the goal line.
Oliver Ekman-Larsson continues to be Oliver Ekman-Awesome after his rough start to the season. He scored his ninth goal of the season with a wicked wrister on the power play. His six power play goals are the most by any defenseman in the NHL.
Philadelphia spoiled Dubnyk's shutout bid with 7:49 to go in the game. R.J. Umberger scored his fourth goal of the season, finishing a pass by Mark Streit that Dubnyk never saw through all the traffic in front.
Umberger scored again 3:02 later, as Arizona lost its stranglehold on the lead.
However, the Coyotes iced the game on Vermette's empty net goal, his second of the night (sorry for the few of you who threw hats).
Vermette is the first Coyote to reach the 10-goal mark -- another thing fans can check of their aforementioned list. His three points give him 101 in his Coyotes career and a team-leading 25 points for the season.
1. Antoine Vermette - Two goals and three points
2. Devan Dubnyk - Stopped 30-of-32 shots
3. R.J. Umberger - Pair of goals
The Coyotes travel to Dallas for a one-game road trip on New Year's Eve. Puck drop is scheduled for 6 p.m.