ARIZONA COYOTES

Coyotes’ Clayton Keller honors his grandfather on Hockey Fights Cancer night

Nov 21, 2021, 11:06 AM | Updated: 11:07 am
Arizona Coyotes right wing Clayton Keller, left, celebrates his winning goal against the Detroit Re...

Arizona Coyotes right wing Clayton Keller, left, celebrates his winning goal against the Detroit Red Wings with center Barrett Hayton (29) during overtime of an NHL hockey game Saturday, Nov. 20, 2021, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

(AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

Arizona Coyotes right-winger Clayton Keller scored the overtime game-winner in Saturday’s game against the Detroit Red Wings, but the victory on Hockey Fights Cancer night meant so much more to the 23-year-old.

“I lost my grandfather to cancer and I wouldn’t be here without him,” Keller emotionally said postgame. “It’s definitely a special win.”

Keller was drafted No. 7 overall in the 2016 NHL Draft, yet dedicated his career up to this point to his grandfather.

Saturday night at Gila River Arena showcased a gritty Coyotes team, one that seemed to be playing with a chip on its shoulder.

Head coach Andre Tourigny told media members the young team has been gaining confidence and what emotional victories like that mean to the players.

“I think cancer touches everyone,” head coach Andre Tourigny said. “Having a night like this you think of those people, people who touch you and are important to you. It’s good to get the win.”

Although the Coyotes have been off to a slow start, Keller’s goal gave the team its fifth point in the last three games.

Arizona (3-13-2) travels to Los Angeles to play the Kings (8-7-2) at 8 p.m. on KTAR News 92.3 FM.

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