GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) — Phil Kessel scored three goals for his seventh career hat trick and Adin Hill made 34 saves for his second career shutout to lead the Arizona Coyotes to their third straight victory, 4-0 over the San Jose Sharks on Saturday night.
“It was a blast, obviously it feels good,” Kessel said. “I had an empty-netter and a lucky one in front of the net, but, hey, I’ll take it.”
Kessel now has 14 goals, tops on the team, after having that many all last season.
“I’m a little luckier than last year,” he said. “I haven’t changed.”
Clayton Keller had a goal and two assists for the Coyotes, who tied St. Louis for fourth place in the West Division with 37 points. They take their three-game winning streak with them on a three-week road trip.
“Sometimes those long trips define your season,” Kessel said. “We’ve got to battle through it.”
Kessel scored on a power play, with Christian Fischer screening Sharks goalie Devan Dubnyk, in the second period to make it 2-0.
The Coyotes had a 5-minute power play in the third when Kurtis Gabriel was called for a major for interference, plus a game misconduct, after taking down Arizona’s Johan Larsson.
Arizona didn’t score on that opportunity despite seven shots on goal, nor on a subsequent delay-of-game minor on San Jose’s Radim Simek. But Kessel jammed home a rebound shortly after the second penalty ended. The veteran added an empty-net goal with 2:28 remaining.
Before Kessel took over, Hill kept the Coyotes in the game with 17 saves in the first period. He stopped 17 more the rest of the way to complete his shutout. Hill has played the last three games since Antti Raanta joined No. 1 goalie Darcy Kuemper on the injured list.
“The first was kind of a dangerous period,” Arizona coach Rick Tocchet said. “They carried the play. I liked the response after that.
“We’re in a game-to-game situation. We’ve got a big road trip. You can’t worry about the playoffs. Just go day to day.”
Hill only faced 20 shots in Friday night’s 5-2 win over the Sharks.
“I felt pretty good,” Hill said. “The guys had a great game last night and that helped out a lot.”
Keller opened the scoring with an unassisted goal 5:49 into the game, beating Dubnyk to the stick side. He leads Arizona with 28 points.
Patrick Marleau played in his 1,756th career game Saturday night, tying Mark Messier for second place in NHL history. Marleau, in his 23rd NHL season, is 11 games behind Gordie Howe for the top spot.
Marleau has played in 887 consecutive games, a streak that dates to 2009. Kessel, who reached 1,100 career games on Friday, has played in 878 straight games through Saturday. Both veterans scored goals in Friday night’s game.
The NHL fined Arizona center Nick Schmaltz $500 for a hit in Friday’s game. He was penalized for boarding against Simek in the third period in that game.
Keller’s goal was his 65th as a member of the Coyotes, passing Tocchet for 13th in team history.
Sharks: Return home Monday night against Minnesota.
Coyotes: On the road for the next nine games, beginning Wednesday night at Colorado.
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