Hayton, Keller lead Coyotes over streaking Wild in overtime thriller

Mar 12, 2023, 10:31 PM | Updated: Mar 13, 2023, 11:29 am

Barrett Hayton #29 of the Arizona Coyotes celebrates with teammates on the bench after scoring a go...

Barrett Hayton #29 of the Arizona Coyotes celebrates with teammates on the bench after scoring a goal against the Minnesota Wild during the first period at Mullett Arena on March 12, 2023 in Tempe, Arizona. (Photo by Norm Hall/NHLI via Getty Images)

(Photo by Norm Hall/NHLI via Getty Images)

TEMPE — Barrett Hayton scored two goals in the first period and Clayton Keller added two goals and an assist as the Coyotes battled back in a physical contest against the Minnesota Wild for an overtime win.

Keller netted the tying goal and the game winner, earning the first star of the game honors in the 5-4 victory.

The Coyotes came into the matchup hoping to even the four-game season series against the red-hot Wild, who were 8-0-2 over their last 10 games.

In typical Mullett Arena fashion, the action came fast and furious with nine goals and four fights in the game.

“Old school hockey,” Coyotes head coach Andre Tourigny said. “There were some fights, there was some toughness, a lot of emotion and our guys pushed back so much. I’m really, really proud of them.”

Over the first five minutes there were two fights with Bokondji Imama dropping the gloves against Ryan Reaves and Liam O’Brien lining up a tilt with Marcus Foligno.

Foligno and O’Brien also tussled during the first matchup between the two teams in November.

Connor Mackey for the Coyotes and Mason Shaw for the Wild also joined the ruckus with a fight of their own in the second period while Lawson Crouse and Jake Middleton dropped the gloves for a spirited bout in the third.

Offensively, Hayton struck first for the Coyotes after eating a point shot in the chest from teammate Juuso Valimaki. Hayton patiently let the puck settle before firing it top shelf past Wild goalie Filip Gustavsson less than two minutes into the game.

Mats Zuccarello tied things up for the Wild in the first period on what looked like an attempted pass that ricocheted off goalie Karel Vejmelka and into the net.

Hayton notched his second goal of the game midway through the opening period with another top-shelf riser from the right circle.

“He’s always working on getting better and it’s great to see him have success. He’s always had it and he’s just going to continue to get better. He’s playing with more confidence,” Keller said about Hayton. “He’s making it easier for me to play with him.”

Nick Ritchie was able to find the 22-year-old Hayton on a cross-ice pass during a Coyotes power play to regain the lead.

“Our power play has done a good job of late and I think a lot of things are clicking,” Hayton said.

With 1:25 left, Reaves wrapped up an eventful first period with a goal on a tip in to tie things up again.

Minnesota took an early lead in the second on a breakaway goal by Matt Boldy, and Connor Dewar scored another for the Wild with 5:00 left in the period.

Ritchie added a goal of his own on a feed from Keller to keep the Coyotes in striking distance heading into the third.

Keller tied the game as Jack McBain found him streaking down the slot in the middle of the final frame, which eventually led to overtime.

Keller became the overtime hero by grinding home a rebound that snuck behind Gustavsson for the game winner and his third point of the night.

His assist on Ritchie’s goal gave Keller 200 assists for his career.

“Whoever I’m playing with has helped me out tremendously,” Keller said.


Both teams came into the game on significant point streaks. The Coyotes were riding a four-game point streak and the Wild entered the game on a season-long 12-game point streak.

Both teams extended their runs with the overtime bonus awarded to the home side.

The Coyotes season-long point streak was nine Jan. 26 to Feb. 19.


The Coyotes plug along with the second contest of a four-game homestand against the Calgary Flames on Tuesday.

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