ARIZONA COYOTES

Clayton Keller breaks Coyotes’ point streak record with spinning goal in loss vs. Avs

Mar 26, 2023, 3:14 PM | Updated: 4:54 pm

Clayton Keller #9 of the Arizona Coyotes celebrates with teammate Juuso Valimaki #4 after scoring a...

Clayton Keller #9 of the Arizona Coyotes celebrates with teammate Juuso Valimaki #4 after scoring a goal against the Colorado Avalanche during the third period at Mullett Arena on March 26, 2023 in Tempe, Arizona. (Photo by Norm Hall/NHLI via Getty Images)

(Photo by Norm Hall/NHLI via Getty Images)

The Arizona Coyotes trailed 3-2 with less than five minutes remaining in the third period against the Colorado Avalanche on Sunday when Clayton Keller provided one of the highlight goals of the season.

Juusco Valimaki hit Keller in the attacking zone, and the winger — not facing or looking at the goal — spun around a defender to fire off a shot past unsuspecting goaltender Alexandar Georgiev.

Keller’s goal — his 36th of the year — set a Coyotes record, as he extended his point streak to 12 games. No other player since the franchise’s first season in the desert after relocating from Winnipeg in 1996-97 has reached that mark. Shane Doan held the previous record at 11 in 2007-08.

Keller’s shot also led to a point for Arizona on Sunday, as the Coyotes erased a two-goal deficit in the final frame to force overtime. Colorado won, 4-3, in a 14-player marathon shootout.

For the 24-yuear-old Keller, the goal also marked 80 points on the season, and he is the second Coyote to hit that benchmark after Keith Tkachuk in 1996-97 (86 points).

Keller has eight more games to catch Tkachuk.

Matias Maccelli and Christian Fischer also scored for Arizona against the Avalanche in the third period.

The Avalanche opened the scoring nearly midway through the game. Goalie Connor Ingram’s attempt to clear the puck hit Mikko Rantanen behind the net and the Colorado forward put it in for his 48th goal of the season.

Colorado made it 2-0 just 1:16 later when Byram scored off a rebound from Logan O’Connor’s shot. Andrew Cogliano also assisted on Byram’s eighth goal of the season.

Arizona found its offense in the third period. Maccelli got the Coyotes on the board 10:37 into the period, then Fischer tied it a minute later after Colorado got caught in a line change. Michael Kesselring, in his eighth NHL game, assisted on Fischer’s goal for his first career point.

Liam O’Brien went to the penalty box 12 seconds after Fischer’s goal, and Valeri Nichushkin made the Coyotes pay with a power-play goal with assists from Rantanen and Devon Toews.

Nichushkin had the only goal in the shootout.

SCHEDULING QUIRK

The Avalanche and Coyotes were the only NHL teams who were idle on Saturday. But that was the only day off for both in a four-day stretch as the teams played a home-and-home Friday and Sunday.

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Coyotes: Host Edmonton Monday.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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