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Final Look: Coyotes Trounce Lightning, Score Season-High Seven Goals

Garland and Keller jolt Arizona's offensive attack; Coyotes reclaim wild card playoff spot

by Alex Kinkopf @AEKinkopf / Game Recap

COYOTES TROUNCE LIGHTNING, SCORE SEASON-HIGH SEVEN GOALS

The Coyotes poured on the offense, producing handily on the score sheet Saturday night en route to a 7-3 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning at Gila River Arena.

Clayton Keller registered his fourth multi-goal performance of the season while Conor Garland set a new single game career-high with four points (2G, 2A) in an explosive outing that saw five different players find the back of the net and 11 record at least one point.

"To me it was just a complete effort, everybody contributed, there was focus," said head coach Rick Tocchet. "I felt that we stuck to the game plan. Our team's frustrating because when we stick to the game plan, we can be a good team."

That game plan was certainly carried out tonight, showing in the form of a convincing defeat of one of the top teams in the NHL.

The Lightning struck for the game's first goal to take a 1-0 lead less than four minutes into the contest.

In the late stages of the first period, the Coyotes responded with a pair of goals in a 1:10 stretch to take a sudden 2-1 lead.

Garland walked in from the half wall to tie the game, 1-1, and Keller wired home a long-distance wrist shot to provide the 2-1 advantage.

Carl Soderberg upped the Coyotes' lead to 3-1 with 14:09 remaining in the second period, using his size to score from in front of Tampa Bay's net during a power play.

Tampa Bay netted a pair of goals in a quick 1:26 window midway through the second to tie the game, 3-3.

Less than a minute after the Lightning tied the game, Taylor Hall fought for possession low in the offensive zone, and while down off-balance on one knee, fed Brad Richardson , who cashed in from the slot to give the Coyotes a 4-3 lead.

The Coyotes put the clamps on the game in the third period, rattling off an additional three unanswered goals to secure the 7-3 win.

"I liked our third because we kept pressing and we didn't back up, and that's the way you have to win in this league," said Tocchet. "You can't back, back, back up. I thought we were grittier tonight, I thought there was a little more grittiness from guys."

Keller and Garland each potted their second goals of the night to increase the Coyotes' lead to 6-3, while Derek Stepan put the finishing touches on the victory with a two-on-one dart to the top shelf, leading to the night's eventual final score.

Antti Raanta stopped 27 of the 30 shots he faced to earn the win.

"Raants, he was just solid," Tocchet said. "He's got his mojo, for sure, he's got his mojo back."

With the win, the Coyotes have re-claimed a playoff spot, climbing to possess the first wild card position in the Western Conference.

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TRACKING IT

GAME #65: ARIZONA (7) vs. TAMPA BAY (3)

  • SOG: ARI - 41, TBL - 30
  • PP: ARI - 2/5, TBL - 0/1

ARIZONA SCORING:

TAMPA BAY SCORING:

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THEY SAID IT

"It was a full-team effort, we defended hard, we played our style of hockey and when we do that, we're a tough team to beat. We want to carry this on to Tuesday."

Clayton Keller , on Saturday's 7-3 win over Tampa Bay

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DON'T OVERLOOK IT

THE SITUATION: Antti Raanta's first period saves

In a span of 1:05 midway through the first period, Antti Raanta thwarted a pair of high-quality scoring chances to keep the Lightning from building on their early 1-0 lead.

The first save came on Anthony Cirelli following a costly defensive zone turnover, getting a piece of the Tampa Bay forward's shot with his blocker with 8:35 remaining in the opening frame.

The second stop, which included more than one denial, came during a Lightning two-on-one, first showing quick reflexes to pad a deflected puck from a Niklas Hjalmarsson break-up attempt, and immediately after when he got a piece of Steven Stamkos' put-back bid to escape danger.

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GOTTA SEE IT

THE SITUATION: Clayton Keller's wrist shot

Of all the offense on display Saturday night, one of the headliners was Clayton Keller's wrist shot, which twice beat Andrei Vasilevskiy clean to drive the 21-year-old forward to his fourth multi-goal performance of the campaign.

Keller's first tally came from deep in the offensive zone to give the Coyotes their first lead of the night, 2-1, with 1:14 left to play in the first period. After providing Alex Goligoski an outlet just inside the blue line, Keller collected before shooting against the grain to connect glove side.

His second came with 8:09 left in regulation to give the Coyotes a 5-3 lead, turning on the jets and pouncing on a defensive zone turnover initiated by Lawson Crouse . With speed, Keller fled into Tampa Bay territory and dialed up another wrist shot from the hash marks, depositing to the blocker side.

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PHOTO FINISH

Come again. Steven Stamkos falls to the ice moments after his rebound attempt deflects off the glove of Antti Raanta in the latter stages of the first period. Raanta finished the night with 27 saves in the Coyotes' 7-3 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning on Saturday night at Gila River Arena. (Photo Credit: Christian Petersen - Getty Images)

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Lead Photo Credit: Christian Petersen - Getty Images // GIF Highlight Footage: Fox Sports Arizona

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