By Jose M. Romero
The Associated Press
GLENDALE — The Coyotes watched the most prolific scorer and longest-tenured player in franchise history get his number retired, then took the ice and made their former captain proud.
Lawson Crouse scored the go-ahead goal in the second period and Arizona beat the Winnipeg Jets 4-1 on Sunday night after honoring Shane Doan.
“Doaner gave us some juice tonight, I’ll tell you that,” said Coyotes coach Rick Tocchet, a former teammate of Doan’s. “It was a fun hockey game to coach because I could tell the crowd was into it. It helps the players when you get fans screaming and yelling and cheering you on, killing a penalty and they’re clapping for you.”
Brad Richardson, Clayton Keller and Josh Archibald also scored for Arizona. Alex Goligoski added two assists and Darcy Kuemper stopped 34 shots, sending the Central Division leaders to their fourth loss in five games.
The Coyotes kept pace in the Western Conference playoff race, winning their third straight game and fourth in five. They are three points behind Minnesota for the second wild card.
Patrik Laine scored early before Winnipeg was shut out for almost 58 minutes. Laurent Brossoit made 20 saves.
A sellout crowd was on hand to see Doan’s No. 19 raised to the rafters at Gila River Arena before a game that matched the two teams he played for during his 21 seasons in the NHL.
“Such an honor to be here to witness that ceremony, and it was an awesome night for him and his family,” Keller said. “It’s even better that we got the win, too.”
Winnipeg drafted Doan in 1995, and the following season that version of the Jets moved to the desert. He went on to set club records for goals, assists, points and games played.
The Coyotes didn’t seem bothered by a pregame ceremony that all of them happily sat through, though it ran much later than anticipated.
“After the first little bit we took over the game,” Richardson said.
Laine gave the large number of Jets fans in attendance something to cheer about quickly. An early tripping penalty gave Winnipeg a power play, and Laine fired in Blake Wheeler’s pass with a one-timer at 2:11 of the first period.
It was Laine’s 28th goal of the season, second-most on the Jets. Wheeler got his 60th assist, second-most in the NHL.
Wheeler became the first player in franchise history to have 60 assists in consecutive seasons.
The Coyotes tied it at 5:43 when Richardson cleaned up Goligoski’s run to the net for his 12th goal of the season.
In the second period, Crouse tried a backhand that went off Brossoit and back to the Jets’ Ben Chiarot, who deflected the puck into the net.
Crouse was credited with the goal, his 10th, and the Coyotes had a 2-1 lead at 7:40.
“The bounces weren’t going and things are tough for us right now,” Wheeler said. “It’s just something we’ve got to work through.”
Keller made it 3-1 at 13:46. Alex Galchenyuk delivered a pass from along the boards right onto Keller’s stick for an open left-handed shot that eluded Brossoit. Keller reached 12 goals on the season, and Galchenyuk 21 assists.
The Coyotes came close to a short-handed goal in the final seconds of the second, but it was disallowed when officials ruled Goligoski kicked the puck into the net.
Archibald scored into an empty net with 31 seconds to play. Kuemper stopped 18 shots in the third period.
Winnipeg lost top-pair defenseman Josh Morrissey to an apparent upper-body injury in the third, but coach Paul Maurice said the Jets will deal with it when they return home.
The opening faceoff didn’t take place until about 40 minutes after the originally scheduled start because of the duration of the ceremony for Doan. … Several former teammates, including Jeremy Roenick and Curtis Joseph, were on hand for the festivities. So were other Arizona sports stars such as Larry Fitzgerald and Luis Gonzalez, as well as NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman. … Keller ended a 13-game goal drought. … The Coyotes opened a seven-game homestand, their longest of the season.
Jets: Host the Minnesota Wild on Tuesday.
Coyotes: Host the Florida Panthers on Tuesday.