Coyotes forward Taylor Pyatt
played in his 600th career NHL game on Saturday, and he marked the occasion by notching a "Gordie Howe hat trick" with a goal, assist, and fight to help his team to a 6-2 victory over the Colorado Avalanche in front of a sellout crowd of 17,188 at Jobing.com Arena.
“I’ve had a few regular hat tricks, but this was the first time for the Gordie Howe, and it felt good to do it in my 600th game on a day where we clinched the playoffs," Pyatt said. "It was a good day today."
Pyatt picked up his 11th assist of the season at the 6:45 mark of the first period, then with just 1:04 left in the period he fought with Colorado forward Chris Stewart.
“It was spur of the moment (fight)," Pyatt said. "He tried to challenge me there for a bit, so I thought I’d answer the bell and we had a pretty good fight.”
Pyatt’s goal came at the 9:25 mark of the second period and allowed the Coyotes to take a 3-1 lead.
“I got a real nice pass there from Vernon Fiddler behind the net,” Pyatt said. “I was able to get it on net quick and it caught him (Colorado goaltender Craig Anderson) a little bit off-guard."
He added, “It was real nice to be rewarded with a goal and I feel like we’ve been playing some real good hockey of late.”
Overall, Pyatt thought he and his teammates played a good game.
“We controlled most of the play," Pyatt said. "I was disappointed to give up that one (goal) late in the (second) period, but we were able to regroup in the third period and come out strong. Lee Stempniak gave us a big goal, gave us that two-goal cushion and it was a solid game for us.”
Pyatt, in his first season with the Coyotes, has 10 goals and 11 assists for 21 points on the season. He also has 37 penalty minutes and a plus-minus rating of plus-12.