Doan get any better: Coyote nets two in NHL debut

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TEMPE, Ariz. — With his parents at the top of Mullett Arena in a suite, Josh Doan scored two goals, including the go-ahead tally, in his first NHL game, and the Arizona Coyotes defeated the Columbus Blue Jackets 6-2 on Tuesday night.

Doan, son of the Coyotes’ longtime captain and all-time goal leader Shane Doan, scored an unassisted goal in the second period to put Arizona ahead 2-1, backhanding the puck past Columbus goaltender Elvis Merzlikins at close range. He scored the winner in the third period, deflecting a puck past Merzlikins right in front of the crease at the 8:29 mark.

“I almost missed it,” Shane Doan, speaking on the Coyotes’ postgame telecast on Scripps Sports, said of his son’s first goal. “It’s so cool.”

Josh Doan, from nearby Scottsdale, is the first Arizona native to play for the franchise. The 22-year-old played collegiately at Arizona State. He was called up Monday from Tucson of the AHL after leading the Roadrunners with 26 goals and 20 assists in 62 games.

“I was a little bit nervous,” Doan said on the Coyotes’ postgame show. “But my mom [Andrea] was up there, wearing the emotions a little bit harder.”

The rookie admitted being taken aback by the fans after his first goal.

“The reaction was definitely something special,” he said, “and hearing how loud the building got for that was cool.”

All along, from the bench, he was keeping an eye on the Doan suite, though.

“I noticed that my younger brother [Carson] was about to come out of the suite at some point. That was one thing that I definitely noticed,” Doan said. “But he’s been the best supporter since day one, so I don’t expect anything less from him.”

Nick Bjugstad, Nick Schmaltz, Dylan Guenther and Matias Maccelli — also among Doan’s biggest supporters on his grand night — scored as well, as Arizona pulled away with four goals in the third period. Schmaltz and Guenther’s goals were short-handed. Schmaltz’s was his 20th of the season.

“It was awesome all night, on the ice and on the bench,” Doan said of his teammates. “They were very supportive and talking me through it. It was a real team effort, with everyone making sure we stuck to the gameplan.”

Karel Vejmelka, who allowed the first goal of the game, stopped 24 shots for the Coyotes in the win.

Boone Jenner and Zach Werenski scored for Columbus, which has lost five straight. Merzlikins had 29 saves for the Blue Jackets, who haven’t won since March 16.

A minute after Doan’s first goal, Michael Kesselring was penalized for tripping and with 38.8 seconds left in the period, Werenski scored on the power play for Columbus to tie it. Werenski assisted on Jenner’s goal and Johnny Gaudreau assisted on both.

The Coyotes were officially eliminated from postseason play on Tuesday when eighth-place Vegas picked up a point in a 5-4 overtime loss at Nashville. The Blue Jackets were ousted from the playoff race Sunday.

Clayton Keller’s five-game goal streak come to an end. It’s the franchise’s longest streak since Daniel Briere had six in January 2001. Keller did have an assist on Maccelli’s goal.

The Blue Jackets had a goal taken off the board in the final minute of the first period when Alexandre Texier was penalized for high sticking before scoring in front of the net.

There were fights in each period. Two minutes into the game, Mathieu Olivier and Liam O’Brien squared off near center ice. Each got five minutes for fighting. Erik Gudbrandson and Arizona’s Josh Brown fought in the second period and with 1:21 to go, the Coyotes’ Michael Carcone and the Blue Jackets’ James Malatesta — also making his NHL debut — exchanged punches.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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