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The Wrap: Chychrun's Hat Trick Clinches Overtime Win

Coyotes pad playoff position with a crucial victory in Anaheim

by Alex Kinkopf @AEKinkopf / Arizona Coyotes
Final Score: Coyotes 3, Ducks 2 F/OT
Record: 18-15-5
Standings: 4th-place, West Division

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Jakob Chychrun recorded his first career hat trick Sunday night to drive the Coyotes to a come-from-behind, 3-2 overtime win against the Anaheim Ducks at Honda Center.

Chychrun scored two equalizers in regulation and capped his milestone night with the game-clinching goal. 

"I just found I was in a good rhythm and finding spots, picking spots," said Chychrun, who is now tied for the league lead in goals (12) for defensemen.

Chychrun joined a rush in the first period and beat John Gibson with a quick release to tie the game, 1-1. He tied the game again, 2-2, in the third period, with a wrist shot from the high slot.

"Our mood was never down," Chychrun said. "We knew we were in the hockey game the whole way. We had urgency. We knew how big those points were. We were sticking with it, we didn't really have our best game, but we were finding ways to generate."

The Coyotes extended to overtime for the ninth time.

Chychrun showcased his wrist shot - and his uncanny ability to find open lanes through traffic - once again in the extra frame, sealing the win.

"He's just got a great wrist shot," said head coach Rick Tocchet. "If you watch it, when a goalie moves side to side, he releases that puck and it's as hard as most of our guys' slap shots. The guy can bring it. The quickness of it, and obviously finding the holes. 

"Those were three major league shots (from Chychrun)," Tocchet continued. "He's double digits in goals for us. As a defenseman. In 30-something games. He's having a hell of a year for us." 

Nick Schmaltz described Chychrun's play through his own perspective.

"He's done a lot for us this year," Schmaltz said. "Tonight was a heck of a night for him, but all season he's been good for us. He's got a heck of a shot. He finds areas to get pucks to the net and they went in for him tonight. We needed it. A heck of a game by him, but he's been doing it all year." 

Schmaltz was one of seven Coyotes to record a point. He extended his point streak to five games, assisting Chychrun's third period goal. 

Adin Hill made 18 saves to earn his sixth win of the season. 

"We stuck with the game plan, and obviously (Chychrun) had a night," Tocchet said. "His shots were incredible. We had some (big) moments that we needed. Overall, I liked our resolve and the fact that we didn't get antsy."

The Coyotes have won six of their previous eight games (6-2-0) and maintain playoff position in the West Division. They are 2-1-0 on their current nine-game road trip.

Added Chychrun, on the playoff race: "It's exciting. We're excited in this room. We know there's a chance to really make a good push here, and we've got to continue to stick with it. We can't get too high on ourselves when things are going well, and we can't get too low when things aren't going well. I think we need to stay even keel here until the end, and just take it one game at a time."

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The Game: 

First Period: Anaheim's Sam Carrick opened the scoring at 8:31. Jakob Chychrun tied the game, 1-1, at 8:58. Derek Grant reclaimed the lead for Anaheim at 14:47.

Second Period: No scoring

Third Period: Jakob Chychrun tied the game, 2-2, with 4:51 remaining.

Overtime: Jakob Chychrun scored the game-winning goal 1:47 into the extra frame.

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Statistics: 

SOG: ARI - 31, ANA - 20

PP: ARI - 0/0, ANA - 0/1

Hits: ARI - 29, ANA - 25

Blocks: ARI - 5, ANA - 13

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Tocchet's Take: "Win or lose, I need this team to be even keel. We got killed against Colorado, but we weren't down in the dumps and we came back with energy. Same thing here. We've got a big game tomorrow. We've got to enjoy it for about two minutes and then we'll figure out our game plan for LA because those guys are chasing us too. Every game is going to be like this, it's going to get harder and harder." 

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Nick Schmaltz said: "It's a lot of fun when you're playing these meaningful games where every point matters. You've got to bring it every night because there are teams fighting (right behind us). LA, San Jose and St. Louis. You've got to try to get points as often as you can, and we were fortunate to get two tonight. It's fun playing these games where you've got a little pressure, where every shift counts. We want to stick with it. We have a long road trip to continue here, and we're going to try to keep going with this momentum we've got." 

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Notable:

  • Jakob Chychrun recorded his first career hat trick. Chychrun became the eighth defenseman in NHL history to complete a hat trick with an overtime goal. He is tied for the league lead in goals (12) among defensemen.
  • The Coyotes are 9-0-0 this season when Chychrun scores a goal.
  • The Coyotes finished their season series against the Ducks with a 6-1-1 record, setting a new franchise mark for the most wins in one season against Anaheim.
  • Nick Schmaltz extended his point streak to five games with his assist on Jakob Chychrun's second goal. Schmaltz has six points (2G, 4A) during the streak.
  • Alex Goligoski extended his point streak to four games with his assist on Jakob Chychrun's first goal. Goligoski has four assists during the streak
  • Conor Garland set a new, single-season career-high in assists (18), surpassing his 68-game total (17) from last season.

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A Closer Look: The fourth place Coyotes padded their standings lead over the St. Louis Blues and San Jose Sharks in the West Division. They sit three points (41) ahead of the fifth place Blues (38) and sixth place Sharks (38). The Coyotes are seven points ahead of the seventh place Los Angeles Kings (34), whom they play Monday and Wednesday at STAPLES Center.

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Coyotes Lineup: 

Forwards

Fischer - Larsson - Kessel

Keller - Dvorak - Pederson

Crouse - Brassard - Hayden

Bunting - Schmaltz - Garland

Defensemen

Ekman-Larsson - Lyubushkin

Chychrun - Goligoski

Oesterle - Gross 

Scratches

Hunt

Demers

Caggiula

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Roster Notes: No changes were made to the Coyotes lineup from the previous game. Tyler Pitlick (lower-body), Niklas Hjalmarsson (upper-body), Antti Raanta (lower-body) and Darcy Kuemper (lower-body) remain on the Injured Reserve list. 

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What's Next: The Coyotes travel to Los Angeles Sunday night. They play the Kings Monday night, 7:00 p.m., at STAPLES Center. 

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Photo of the Game: Center of attention. The Coyotes swarm Jakob Chychrun to celebrate his game-clinching, hat trick overtime goal.

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Highlights:

Video: Chychrun's hat trick fuels Coyotes' overtime win

Lead Photo Credit: Debora Robinson - NHLI via Getty Images

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