TEMPE, Ariz. (AP)Clayton Keller capped his first career hat trick with a goal with 22.4 seconds remaining in overtime to give the Arizona Coyotes a 5-4 victory over the Philadelphia Flyers on Sunday.
Keller skated in from the left side and beat Carter Hart to the glove side as the Coyotes won their second straight home game after returning from a 14-game, 33-day road trip. Keller has a seven-game point streak.
”I saw I had a little hole to shoot, and it’s nice to see them go in,” said Keller, who scored his first goals since Nov. 17. ”I’ve come close a few times and wasn’t able to get the third one. It’s nice to get the first one (hat trick).”
Keller, who has a team-high 10 goals, missed the final 15 games last season with a fractured leg.
”He didn’t play in seven months, and he came into the season with a different mindset, in the sense that he was wondering where he would stand,” Coyotes coach Andre Tourigny said. ”He is playing way different than at the start of the season. He is playing with more pace. Now he has more speed. He is putting more pucks at the net. He goes in the dirty area way more. His game is now back at what he was last year.”
Nick Ritchie gave the Coyotes a 4-3 lead on a breakaway at 7:27 of the third period before Travis Konecny tied it with 2:17 remaining, a half-minute after the Flyers pulled Hart for an extra skater.
”Everyone knows (Keller) is that elite passer, but with the shot working, hopefully more shots and more goals to help us win,” Ritchie said.
Jack McBain also scored and Karel Vejmelka made 36 saves for the Coyotes, who had lost six straight to finish their long road swing.
Morgan Frost had a goal and three assists, James van Riemsdyk had a goal and two assists, and Owen Tippet also scored for the Flyers, who have lost five of six and are 2-10-5 since their 7-3-2 start to the season. Van Riemsdyk played his third game since missing the previous 20 with an upper body injury. Hart made 22 saves for the Flyers in his seventh straight start.
”Give a lot of credit to the Flyers,” Tourigny said. ”They worked hard. They battled. They were physical. They have the same kind of identity that we take a lot of pride in.”
Keller scored the only goal of the first period on a power play with 7:14 remaining, 3 seconds before a penalty was to expire. Keller’s wrist shot from the slot beat Hart through traffic.
Frost and van Riemsdyk teamed on goals 1:59 apart for a 2-1 lead four minutes Into the second period. Frost found an open side after taking van Riemsdyk’s pass pass from behind the net at 2:09. Frost fed van Riemsdyk to complete a 2-on-1 break at 4:08 as the sides skated 4-on-4 after penalties on Arizona’s Lawson Crouse and Philadelphia’s Nick Seeler.
The Flyers’ lead was short-lived. Keller scored on a back-handed breakaway at 7:45 and McBain redirected a cross-ice pass from J.J. Moser three minutes later for a 3-2 lead.
Tippett tied it with 1:18 left in the second period on a high wrist shot from the near the blue line slot.
Keller has 26 points this season, the most for the Coyotes in the first 26 games of a season since Shane Doan had 26 in 2008-09. Keller has 35 goals and 83 points in 77 games since Nov. 18, 2021, sixth among NHL right wings with a minimum 50 games. The Coyotes dressed 11 forwards Sunday, and Keller had several double-shifts and logged 23:42 of ice time, the most of any forward on either team.
Flyers: At Colorado on Tuesday night for the third of a four-game trip.
Coyotes: At San Jose on Tuesday night.
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