ARIZONA COYOTES

Clayton Keller leads Coyotes to blowout win over Knights with hat trick

Jan 22, 2023, 9:06 PM | Updated: 10:33 pm
Arizona Coyotes forward Clayton Keller celebrates after scoring in a 4-1 win over the Vegas Golden ...
Arizona Coyotes forward Clayton Keller celebrates after scoring in a 4-1 win over the Vegas Golden Knights at Mullett Arena in Tempe, Ariz., on Jan. 22, 2023. (Arizona Sports/Jeremy Schnell)
(Arizona Sports/Jeremy Schnell)

TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) — Clayton Keller had his second hat trick of the season and the Arizona Coyotes beat the Golden Knights 4-1 on Sunday night, their second victory in the last 13 games.

Dylan Guenther scored and Karel Vejmelka had 35 saves for the Coyotes, who had been shut out in their last two games. Keller has a team-high 18 goals but had only one in his previous 10 games.

“It’s been tough last couple of games or so,” Keller said. “It was nice to see some goals go in, too. Long season. You are going to go through tough times. Sometimes you don’t get the bounces you maybe deserve, and I think that’s something that I’ve learned playing in this league. Just not getting frustrated and sticking with it.”

Phil Kessel scored and Logan Thompson had 19 saves for Vegas, which has lost four of five and has 12 goals in that span.

Keller score twice in the third period to build on a 2-1 lead, the last into an open net with 4:08 remaining after the Knights pulled Thompson with 5:30 left. Thompson returned after that goal. Both teams were playing then second of back-to-back games.

Linemate Nick Schmaltz assisted on both Keller goals, the last when he passed up a shot at an open net to feed Keller.

“That’s the type of guy he is,” Keller said. “I think we both do that for each other every single night, no matter who it is on the team.”

The Coyotes are 9-7-2 at home and have beaten Atlantic Division leader and Pacific Division leader Vegas in 5,000-seat Mullett Arena. Every other team has played at least 21 home games.

“We’re trending in the right direction,” Arizona coach André Tourigny said. “It’s a journey. You need to build your culture, your program, every day. The players know where we are going. That doesn’t mean it’s not frustrating. It is. We want it to be frustrating in the sense of we want our guys to be competitors and wanting to win every night. We need to build our foundation brick by brick.”

Guenther scored first two minutes into the game when he beat Thompson high to the glove side after a slick pass Nick Bjugstad from behind the net. His goal ended the Coyotes’ 134-minute scoring drought in regulation and was their first since Guenther scored early in the third period of a 4-3 overtime victory over Detroit on Tuesday.

Keller made it 2-0 after picking up a loose puck in the slot on a feed from Schmaltz 90 seconds into the second period.

“What should have happened today is we should have been better defensively,” Vegas coach Bruce Cassidy said, “so you don’t put so much pressure on yourself because you are still winning even though you are not scoring.

“It could have easily been a 1-1, 2-1 game if we protect the slot.”

WELCOME BACK

Guenther has three goals and an assist in nine games since returning from the World Junior Championships, where he scored the gold medal-winning goal for Canada in a 3-2 overtime victory over the Czech Republic.

NOTES

– Golden Knights F Mark Stone (upper body) missed his fifth straight game. Stone is second on the team with 17 goals and 38 points.

– Kessel has 406 goals, one short of becoming one of top 100 NHL career goal scorers.

– Coyotes F Matias Maccelli (lower body) missed his 15th straight game but is close to returning. Despite the time off, Maccelli is tied for third among rookies with 19 assists and is fifth with 22 points.

– Arizona F Lawson Crouse (upper body) missed his third straight game.

UP NEXT

The Coyotes host the Anaheim Ducks on Tuesday at 7 p.m. on ESPN 620 AM / 98.7 FM HD-2, the Arizona Sports app and ArizonaSports.com.

Arizona Coyotes forward Clayton Keller celebrates after scoring in a 4-1 win over the Vegas Golden Knights at Mullett Arena in Tempe, Ariz., on Jan. 22, 2023. (Arizona Sports/Jeremy Schnell) Arizona Coyotes right wing Dylan Guenther, second from right, celebrates with defenseman Patrik Nemeth (2), center Nick Bjugstad and left wing Michael Carcone (53) after his goal against Vegas Golden Knights goaltender Logan Thompson, left, during the first period of an NHL hockey game in Tempe, Ariz., Sunday, Jan. 22, 2023. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin) Vegas Golden Knights defenseman Brayden McNabb (3) gets the puck from Arizona Coyotes left wing Michael Carcone during the first period of an NHL hockey game in Tempe, Ariz., Sunday, Jan. 22, 2023. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin) Vegas Golden Knights goaltender Logan Thompson (36) makes a save against a shot by Arizona Coyotes center Nick Bjugstad (17) as Golden Knights defenseman Alec Martinez, back right, applies pressure during the first period of an NHL hockey game in Tempe, Ariz., Sunday, Jan. 22, 2023. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin) Vegas Golden Knights goaltender Logan Thompson (36) gives up a goal to Arizona Coyotes' Dylan Guenther (not shown) as Golden Knights defenseman Ben Hutton (17) looks on during the first period of an NHL hockey game in Tempe, Ariz., Sunday, Jan. 22, 2023. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin) Arizona Coyotes goaltender Karel Vejmelka, left, reaches out to make a save as Vegas Golden Knights right wing Michael Amadio (22) and Coyotes defenseman Jakob Chychrun, right, battle for position during the first period of an NHL hockey game in Tempe, Ariz., Sunday, Jan. 22, 2023. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin) Arizona Coyotes right wing Clayton Keller (9) sends the puck past Vegas Golden Knights defenseman Brayden McNabb (3), defenseman Kaedan Korczak (6), and goaltender Logan Thompson, second from left, for a goal as Coyotes center Barrett Hayton (29) creates a screen during the second period of an NHL hockey game in Tempe, Ariz., Sunday, Jan. 22, 2023. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin) Vegas Golden Knights right wing Michael Amadio (22) skates with the puck in front of Arizona Coyotes center Barrett Hayton (29) during the second period of an NHL hockey game in Tempe, Ariz., Sunday, Jan. 22, 2023. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin) Arizona Coyotes goaltender Karel Vejmelka (70) gives up a goal to Vegas Golden Knights' Phil Kessel (not shown) as Coyotes defenseman Troy Stecher (51) and Golden Knights center William Karlsson (71) battle for position during the second period of an NHL hockey game in Tempe, Ariz., Sunday, Jan. 22, 2023. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin) Vegas Golden Knights goaltender Logan Thompson (36) makes a save against a shot by Arizona Coyotes left wing Michael Carcone (53) as Golden Knights defenseman Brayden McNabb (3) looks on during the third period of an NHL hockey game in Tempe, Ariz., Sunday, Jan. 22, 2023. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin) Arizona Coyotes right wing Clayton Keller, center, celebrates after his goal against the Vegas Golden Knights with Coyotes center Barrett Hayton (29) and defenseman Juuso Valimaki (4) during the third period of an NHL hockey game in Tempe, Ariz., Sunday, Jan. 22, 2023. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin) Arizona Coyotes goaltender Karel Vejmelka, left, celebrates after a win over the Vegas Golden Knights with defenseman Juuso Valimaki (4) as time expires in the third period of an NHL hockey game in Tempe, Ariz., Sunday, Jan. 22, 2023. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin) Arizona Coyotes right wing Clayton Keller (9) pauses on the ice after scoring an empty-net goal for a hat trick against the Vegas Golden Knights during the third period of an NHL hockey game in Tempe, Ariz., Sunday, Jan. 22, 2023. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin) Vegas Golden Knights center Jack Eichel (9) and defenseman Alex Pietrangelo (7) pause on the ice after an empty-net goal by Arizona Coyotes' Clayton Keller for a hat trick during the third period of an NHL hockey game in Tempe, Ariz., Sunday, Jan. 22, 2023. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin) Arizona Coyotes goaltender Karel Vejmelka, left, makes a save against a shot by Vegas Golden Knights center Byron Froese (51) as Coyotes defenseman Troy Stecher, second from right, and Golden Knights right wing Keegan Kolesar (55) look on during the third period of an NHL hockey game in Tempe, Ariz., Sunday, Jan. 22, 2023. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

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