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'Yotes Notes: Keller Extends Point Streak in Loss to Red Wings

Rookie Clayton Keller has notched at least one point in seven consecutive games

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

DETROIT -- Clayton Keller notched a goal and an assist on Tuesday night vs. Detroit, extending his point streak to seven games, and tying the longest point streak by a rookie in Coyotes history.

The Red Wings won the game, 5-3, at Little Caesars Arena.

Keller assisted on Jason Demers' goal at 11:36 of the second period, then scored his ninth goal of the season at 16:43 of the third period. He has produced six goals and five asissts during the streak, and has played at least 18:15 in every game.

Peter Mueller also notched a seven-game point streak as a rookie with the Coyotes in 2007-08. 

With two points on Tuesday, Keller also set a new Coyotes record for points in a calendar month (15) by a rookie. Mueller produced 14 points in January of 2008.

On a grander scale, Keller is leading the Coyotes and all NHL rookies with nine goals, 15 points and 49 shots in just 13 games.

• The Coyotes, who played Monday night in Philadelphia, trailed 2-0 after one period. Detroit dominated possession in the first 20 minutes and out-shot Arizona 18-7.

"It's a big lesson," center Derek Stepan said. "It's important to understand how you need to play in a first period of a back-to-back … You have to work extremely hard, first off. That's always No. 1 in a back-to-back. And No. 2 is, you have to simplify. If you simplify in the first period, you will find your legs … The game will kind of come to you. If you execute and you're smart in the first, the game will come to you in the second and the third. I think we did a very, very poor job of game management in the first period of a back-to-back." 

Video: Stepan on Playing a Full 60

Head Coach Rick Tocchet, who watched his team fall to 1-11-1 on the season, agreed.

"We weren't ready to start," Tocchet said. "Detroit was. That's my fault there. And then we started to play. We still have some passengers, but we started to play and we got back in the game. We had a chance at the end to tie the game. It's just a lesson… It's almost like we put our toe in the water instead of diving in headfirst. We wanted to ease our way in. We just weren't ready to play."

• The Coyotes played minus defenseman Niklas Hjalmarsson, who is sidelined because of an upper-body injury he suffered in Monday's game vs. Philadelphia.

"He's a 25-minute guy," Tocchet said. "He's a good defensive defenseman. He blocks shots. That's a tough (loss), and then all of a sudden people have got to play a little bit more. But good teams go through that when some of their good players get hurt."

• Goalie Scott Wedgewood stopped 35 of 39 shots in his second start for the Coyotes, which came 24 hours after his first.

"For him to step in there and play two 60-minute games, major kudos," Stepan said. "He worked extremely hard. He was great for us in Philly and tonight he was absolutely stellar in the first period. Even though they scored two goals it could have easily been four or five to nothing."

Tocchet liked Wedgewood's performance, but didn't care for how he misplayed the puck to set up Detroit's third goal at 13:03 of the second period.

"That really hurt us," Tocchet said. "... The problem with us is when we make a mistake it's egregious, it's in our net. It's not just a small mistake, it turns into a big mistake. We've got to wipe those away from us."

• After wearing sweater No. 40 for his first game with Arizona, Wedgewood switched to No. 31 for his second game. Adin Hill wore No. 31 earlier this season, but he recently was sent back to the American Hockey League. Should Hill return to the Coyotes, he will wear a different number.

Video: Tocchet: 'Weren't Ready to Start'

• Stepan, Brad Richardson and Oliver Ekman-Larsson each wore an 'A' for the Coyotes at Detroit.  

Anthony Duclair was a healthy scratch for a second consecutive game. 

"'Duke' goes through stretches," Tocchet said, when asked why he has benched Duclair. "He's very inconsistent sometimes. He'll look good sometimes and then he'll go through stretches. We can't wait for people. We've got to find some battlers. I really want to build a team that is really sticky. Talented, but sticky. I think 'Duke' had a couple of good skates. He knows he's got to get his legs going a little bit. He's got a good attitude, which I like." 

Video: OEL on Learning to Chase Games





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