Mon, 30 Jan 2023

Clayton Keller's hat trick propels Coyotes past Knights

Field Level Media
23 Jan 2023, 14:05 GMT+10

Clayton Keller recorded a hat trick and Karel Vejmelka made 35 saves to lead the Arizona Coyotes to a 4-1 victory over the Vegas Golden Knights on Sunday night in Tempe, Ariz.

It was Keller's second hat trick of the season and of his career. Dylan Guenther also scored a goal and Nick Schmaltz added two assists for Arizona, which snapped a two-game losing streak with just its second victory in the last 13 games.

Vejmelka snapped a personal eight-game losing streak with his first victory since a 6-3 win over Toronto on Dec. 29.

Phil Kessel scored for Vegas, which lost in regulation for only the fourth time in 21 road games (15-4-2) this season. Logan Thompson stopped 19 of 22 shots as the Pacific Division-leading Golden Knights lost for the fifth time in their last seven games.

Arizona, coming off back-to-back 4-0 losses to Washington and Dallas, took a 1-0 lead at the 1:59 mark of the first period on Guenther's sixth goal of the season. Nick Bjugstad set up the score with a centering pass from behind the net, connecting with Guenther, who was left alone in the slot. Guenther then snapped a wrist shot into the top left corner of the net to snap a 134:09 scoreless drought for the Coyotes.

The Coyotes made it 2-0 early in the second period when Keller curled into the high slot from the right circle and ripped a wrist shot inside the right post.

Vegas cut it to 2-1 midway through the period on a power-play goal by Kessel, whose wrist shot from the bottom of the left circle ricocheted off the top of the stick of defenseman Troy Stecher and went under the crossbar for his eighth goal of the season.

Keller, left alone in the low slot, put the Coyotes back ahead by two goals midway through the third period when he one-timed a Schmaltz pass into the upper right corner of the net.

Vegas pulled Thompson for an extra attacker with 5:30 remaining and Keller completed his hat trick with an empty-netter with 4:08 left for his team-leading 18th goal of the season.

--Field Level Media

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