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Perlini Displaying Scoring Touch During Streak

Coyotes forward Brendan Perlini has notched a goal in four straight games

by Dave Vest @davest4yotes / Coyotes Sr. Director of News Content

GLENDALE -- Brendan Perlini wowed all those inside Gila River Arena on Saturday night when he scored a memorable, did-you-see-that goal vs. the Vegas Golden Knights. 

"I'm grateful for the opportunity to get on the ice every time and I try to make the most out of every single shift," Perlini said. "I believe in my ability every time I step on the ice and I always want to try to make something happen for the team."

Perlini has scored eight goals this season, from all over the ice. During the third period on Saturday, he skated the puck through the neutral zone up the right wing, and then stickhandled it around two defenders to set up a roof shot that beat Vegas goalie Malcolm Subban just under the crossbar.

The goal pulled Arizona to within 3-2 and extended Perlini's goal-scoring streak to four games, his NHL career-high.

"I just tried to pick up some speed in our zone and got a pass from Max (Domi) across the ice and tried to drive wide," Perlini said. "The guy took away the wide option, so I got in and just shot and luckily it went in."

Video: VGK@ARI: Perlini dekes through defense and scores

Head Coach Rick Tocchet was among those impressed by the goal. 

"That is a very talented player," Tocchet said. "Outside speed, cut in, top shelf, and in the net. We need other players to start to have that mentality of taking that puck wide and taking it to the net instead of looking for a pass in the middle and hitting a skate. We have to have more of that mentality."

Perlini ranks second on the Coyotes in goals despite missing six games in mid-October because of a concussion. He scored zero goals before the injury, which he considers a blessing in disguise.

"When I came back I felt better than before," Perlini said. "Sitting out, as much as you don't like to, it really puts things into perspective for you. To get back healthy and get back into the lineup, I was just grateful, and I was kind of humbled by the whole thing. If anything, it made me work harder and want to be even better and get better every single day. That's how I try and view it."

Perlini has scored one goal in each of the past four games on just 10 total shots. His shooting percentage this season is a team-best 19 percent (8 for 42). 

For those wondering why Perlini switched from sweater No. 29, which he wore as a rookie last season, to No. 11 this season, he said it's a homage to his father Fred, who wore No. 11 while playing in the British Hockey League.

"They usually give (No. 11) to the best player over there, like a lot of soccer teams do it," said Perlini, who was born in England. "It's a goal scorer's number and he was the top goal scorer. He always wore 9, 19 or 29, but they gave him 11 and he wore it his whole career over there and had it retired. Me and my brother always wore it and we always looked at it like it was the goal scorer's number."

Perlini couldn't wear No. 11 last season, of course, because longtime alternate captain Martin Hanzal was wearing it. Hanzal now plays for Dallas.

Perlini has scored one-eighth of Arizona's 64 goals this season, and 22 in just 77 NHL games. And Tocchet is seeing improvement in his game in other areas, including board and corner battles, and puck possession. Once he masters those, Tocchet said Perlini would become a special NHL player. 

"When you have a shot like that and you can skate like that, there's not too many people in the NHL that have that kind of package," Tocchet said.

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