Forward Anthony Duclair entered Wednesday’s game at Anaheim, his 21st in the NHL, with one goal on his NHL resume. Thanks to his first career hat trick against the Ducks, he left the game with four.
“It’s unbelievable,” Duclair said. “It’s even more special to share with these type of guys. Give credit to my linemates and my teammates. They’ve been doing a good job of making some space for me and just making it much more easier for me.”
Duclair scored twice in the first 9:55 of the game and then added his third goal at 10:57 of the second period to become the first Coyotes rookie to notch a hat trick since Daniel Carcillo on April 4, 2008 at Dallas.
“Speed and skill,” Head Coach Dave Tippett told reporters. “On all of his goals tonight he shoots the puck quick. They’re good skill plays that a young skill player can make.”
Tippett has liked what he has seen from Duclair, 20, in the first three games.
“He’s gotten better and better as we’ve come out of training camp,” Tippett said. “…I really give him credit. In practices he’s digging in. We’ve done a lot of video and a lot of teaching with our young guys early and they’re really jumping in and doing a real good job for us. It’s great to see them get rewarded for their work.”
Max Domi, who is Duclair’s good pal and roommate, assisted on Duclair’s second goal.
“(To score) three goals like that was pretty unbelievable,” Domi said. “He was the star of the game tonight for sure. For a guy like that to get a hat trick like that was pretty special and fun to be part of.”
► Goalie Mike Smith posted 37 saves to earn his 28th career shutout and his 17th with the Coyotes – third best on the team’s all-time list. With the win, his 97th with the Coyotes, Smith tied Sean Burke for fourth place on the franchise’s all-time wins list for goalies.
Smith has stopped 106 of the 108 shots he has faced this season. That’s a .981 save percentage, which ranks third in the NHL. His 0.67 goals-against average is fourth best in the League.
Despite the quick turnaround and no morning skate, Tippett said he is considering starting Smith again on Thursday night when the Coyotes host Minnesota at Gila River Arena.
Tippett has admired Smtih’s goaltending thus far but it’s only part of the team’s early success, he said.
“We’ve got a good balance of speed (and) skill, we’re scoring some goals, we’re defending hard and playing the right way and it’s paying off for us,” Tippett said.
► Center Martin Hanzal notched three more assists on Wednesday to increase his team-leading point total to six (all assists). That point total ranks fourth in the NHL.
He also won 10 of 18 face-offs vs. the Ducks and has won 62.8 percent of his draws this season.
“Marty is a real catalyst right now,” Tippett said. “He’s playing outstanding.”
► The Coyotes attempted their first Coach’s Challenge in Wednesday’s game but lost it.
Here’s the official ruling from the NHL:
At 19:34 of the second period in the Coyotes/Ducks game, Arizona requested a Coach’s Challenge to review the “Interference on the Goalkeeper” decision that resulted in a “no goal” call.
After reviewing all available replays and consulting with NHL Hockey Operations staff, the Referee determined that Arizona’s Martin Hanzal interfered with Anaheim goaltender Frederik Andersen before the puck crossed the goal line, preventing Andersen from doing his job in the crease.
Therefore the original call stands – no goal Arizona Coyotes.
Since the Coach’s Challenge did not result in the original call being overturned, the Coyotes forfeit their time-out.
Tippett said with a 4-0 lead it was worth taking a chance.
“My thoughts were we were going to lose it all the way through but you might as well try it,” Tippett said. “As it turned out we never used that timeout the rest of the way. You might as well give it a shot.”
► The Coyotes are 3-0-0 for the first time since 2003-04 and have outscored opponents 10-2 in the first three games.
► Like Hanzal, forward Tobias Rieder has started the season with a three-game point streak.
► The Coyotes have not allowed a power-play goal this season; the penalty killers are a perfect 11 for 11 in the first three games.