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Final Look: Coyotes' Offense Erupts To Protect First-Place, Home Identity

Coyotes extend season-long home point streak to five games (4-0-1) and maintain first-place in the Pacific Division

by Alex Kinkopf @AEKinkopf / Game Recap

COYOTES' OFFENSE ERUPTS TO PROTECT FIRST-PLACE, HOME IDENTITY

Making the most out of their final home game ahead of the All-Star break, the Coyotes defeated the San Jose Sharks by a 6-3 score on Tuesday night, extending their season-long point streak at Gila River Arena to five games (4-0-1).

"If you're going to make some hay anywhere, you've got to have a good home record and an identity, and I think we're starting to chip away at our home identity," head coach Rick Tocchet said.

With the win, the Coyotes maintained first-place in a tightly-packed Pacific Division.

Four players finished the night with three-point performances: Phil Kessel (2G, 1A), Taylor Hall (2G, 1A), Conor Garland (1G, 2A), and Derek Stepan (3A).

Kessel opened the scoring, giving the Coyotes a 1-0 first period lead, striking upon collecting a lead pass from Stepan and burying a snap-shot high to the blocker side, speeding into San Jose's zone to release from high-percentage territory.

Kessel added another goal early in the second, connecting from the slot after receiving from Christian Dvorak during a power play, upping the Coyotes' lead to 2-0.

The Sharks responded with two goals to tie the game, 2-2, with 10:05 remaining in the middle frame.

In stunting any momentum the Sharks had built, the Coyotes reclaimed the lead when Hall tipped a Jordan Oesterle wrist shot past Aaron Dell, giving Arizona a 3-2 edge heading into the third.

Lawson Crouse hammered home from the low slot with 11:51 remaining in regulation to put the Coyotes up, 4-2, scoring his 11th goal of the season whilst tying his career-high mark set during the 2018-19 campaign.

San Jose got back to within a goal, 4-3, with 2:09 remaining, but the Coyotes answered with empty net goals from Garland and Hall to secure the 6-3 victory.

"I liked our response after San Jose was making a press in the second," Tocchet added. "They're a good team, they're desperate, we were playing a desperate team and I thought we answered the bell when we had to."

Adin Hill made 25 saves to earn his second win of the season.

Niklas Hjalmarsson registered the 1,500th shot block of his NHL career when he cut off Brenden Dillon's one-time bid late in the first period.

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TRACKING IT

GAME #49: ARIZONA (6) vs. SAN JOSE (3)

  • SOG: ARI - 40, SJ - 28
  • PP: ARI - 1/2, SJ - 1/3

ARIZONA SCORING:

SAN JOSE SCORING:

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THEY SAID IT

"If you want to be a playoff team at the end of the year, you've got to make your own building very difficult to play in, and I think we've done a very good job of tilting that slower start we had on home ice and done a really good job of making this building tough to play in."

Derek Stepan , on Tuesday's 6-3 win over San Jose

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DON'T OVERLOOK IT

THE SITUATION: Adin Hill's right-pad save on Marcus Sorenson

The Sharks came dangerously close to taking an early lead.

Denying that opportunity and helping the Coyotes set the first period tone was Adin Hill, who read an odd-man rush featuring San Jose's Barclay Goodrow and Marcus Sorenson perfectly, moving laterally from left to right to deny the back-door chance.

Minutes later, the Coyotes would transition to score the game's first goal.

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GOTTA SEE IT

THE SITUATION: Phil Kessel's game-opening tally

Top shelf, short side.

Phil Kessel jolted the Coyotes out to an early 1-0 first period lead when he whistled home a wrist shot from the right faceoff circle after receiving a lead pass from Derek Stepan in the neutral zone.

A perfectly placed shot. The core-driven snap shot that's he's showcased throughout his illustrious career.

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PHOTO FINISH

Reporting for duty. Adin Hill takes the ice prior to Tuesday night's game. The 23-year-old netminder made 25 saves to earn his second win of the season in the Coyotes' 6-3 victory over the San Jose Sharks at Gila River Arena. (Photo Credit: Norm Hall - NHLI via Getty Images)

Lead Photo Credit: Norm Hall - NHLI via Getty Images // GIF Highlight Footage: Fox Sports Arizona

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