ARIZONA COYOTES

Coyotes beat Sharks for 2nd time on 4-game winning streak, Keller scores again

Dec 21, 2023, 11:27 PM

Nick Schmaltz...

Nick Schmaltz #8 of the Arizona Coyotes skates away from Jack Studnicka #16 of the San Jose Sharks in the second period at SAP Center on December 21, 2023 in San Jose, California. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

(Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

SAN JOSE (AP) — Clayton Keller scored his third goal in three games and the Arizona Coyotes beat the San Jose Sharks 5-2 on Thursday night to extend their win streak to four.

Keller, who leads the Coyotes in points, got his 12th goal of the season in the second period as part of a three-point night. He took a lead pass from Alex Kerfoot in the attacking zone and broke in alone on Sharks goaltender Mackenzie Blackwood, beating him through the legs with a backhand.

Keller and Kerfoot both had a goal and two assists, and Michael Kesselring and Lawson Crouse also scored for Arizona. Karel Vejmelka made 29 saves in the win.

Anthony Duclair and Filip Zadina scored for the Sharks, who have lost four straight and entered the day tied with Chicago for the fewest points in the NHL.

The Coyotes, in the thick of the playoff picture, are on a hot streak after dropping four straight earlier this month. It was Arizona’s second win over San Jose in a week, with the Coyotes blanking the Sharks 1-0 last Friday at home.

After a scoreless first period, Arizona took control in the second with three goals. Kesselring put the Coyotes ahead at 4:58, chipping a pass from Keller over Blackwood’s glove.

Duclair responded for the Sharks with a breakaway goal. Off a deflection by Fabian Zetterlund, Duclair took the puck from his own end, sped past two flat-footed defenders and went the distance for a tying goal before Keller gave Arizona the lead back two minutes later.

Kerfoot added a goal at 12:56 of the second, putting the puck in with his skate after a centering feed by Nick Schmaltz. Video review determined Kerfoot did not kick the puck in.

Zadina’s early third-period goal cut the lead in the half, but Keller and Kerfoot combined with Schmaltz on a tic-tac-toe power-play goal to give Arizona the insurance goal back.

Arizona’s Sean Durzi returned to the lineup on defense after missing the last five games with a lower-body injury. He recorded an assist on Keller’s goal.

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