Coyotes’ Nick Schmaltz notches 1st career hat trick in win over Blues

Jan 26, 2023, 9:38 PM | Updated: 10:41 pm
Arizona Coyotes center Nick Schmaltz (8) celebrates after his goal against the St. Louis Blues as C...

Arizona Coyotes center Nick Schmaltz (8) celebrates after his goal against the St. Louis Blues as Coyotes right wing Clayton Keller (9) looks on during the second period of an NHL hockey game in Tempe, Ariz., Thursday, Jan. 26, 2023. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

(AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

The Arizona Coyotes skated past the St. Louis Blues 5-0 on Thursday at Mullett Arena thanks to center Nick Schmaltz’s first career hat trick.

The center scored three goals on four shots while having a team-best +3 plus/minus and added an assist.

“Pretty cool,” Schmaltz said. “I feel like our game as a line and the team has been trending in the right direction and got rewarded tonight. It’s always fun when you can score and contribute in a big win like that. Lot of fun out there. Happy to get the first ‘hatty.’”

The moment didn’t come without drama, though, as the third goal was reviewed because the goal was moved while the shot took place before ultimately being deemed valid.

“It was kind of a weird play,” Schmaltz said about his third goal.

“I thought their guy pushed it (cage) off initially but I didn’t really know, so I just tried to whack it. Lucky enough they buzzed it right before they were ready to drop the puck for a faceoff. Fortunate to get that bounce.”

This is the first natural hat trick — three-straight goals with no other players on either team scoring between — by a Coyote since Phil Kessel did it on March 27, 2021 vs. the San Jose Sharks, according to Coyotes PR.

After a 0-0 first period, Schmaltz added two within three minutes in the second and one in the third before Travis Boyd and Barrett Hayton dumped on the fourth and fifth goals of the game.

Schmaltz assisted Hayton’s goal, putting a cherry on top of a stellar performance. Schmaltz’s four points were an individual season-high by a Coyote this season.

Coyotes goalie Karel Vejmelka made 33 saves in his fourth career shutout.

The win moves Arizona to 10-8-2 at Mullett Arena this season and 16-28-5 overall.

The Coyotes travel to Anaheim on Saturday to play the Ducks in their next game.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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