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game recap

Kessel, Coyotes end Flyers winning streak at five

Scores two goals for Arizona, which moves into first in Pacific, is 8-1-2 in its past 11 on road

by Adam Kimelman @NHLAdamK / Deputy Managing Editor

Kessel's PPG opens the scoring

ARI@PHI: Kessel deflects home Keller's feed for PPG

Phil Kessel cashes in on a give-and-go with Clayton Keller on the power play to give the Coyotes an early 1-0 lead in the 1st

  • 00:43 •

PHILADELPHIA -- Phil Kessel scored two goals, and the Arizona Coyotes moved into first place in the Pacific Division with a 3-1 win against the Philadelphia Flyers at Wells Fargo Center on Thursday.

Conor Garland scored for Arizona (17-9-4), which is one point ahead of the Edmonton Oilers for the Pacific lead. It's the first time the Coyotes have led their division since Oct. 26, 2015. They have not made the Stanley Cup Playoffs since 2012.

"Feels good, right?" Kessel said. "We've got a long way to go, we've got to keep improving, and hopefully we can be there at the end of the year."


[WATCH: All Coyotes vs. Flyers highlights]


Darcy Kuemper made 28 saves. It was his 14th start allowing two goals or fewer, tied with Connor Hellebuyck of the Winnipeg Jets for most in the NHL.

"[Kuemper] was the game tonight," Coyotes coach Rick Tocchet said. "He was outstanding. Flyers were all over us at times, and he was outstanding."

Video: ARI@PHI: Kuemper shuts the door on Couturier

Matt Niskanen scored for Philadelphia (16-8-5), which had won five games in a row and was 6-0-1 in its previous seven.

The Flyers lost at home in regulation for the first time since Oct. 19. They were 7-0-4 in their previous 11 games at Wells Fargo Center. Brian Elliott made 15 saves.

"We get a 10 for effort, worked extremely hard, had the puck most of the night, most of the night in their end," Philadelphia coach Alain Vigneault said. "We get a seven for execution. We're making plays, maybe not getting on the inside. We got some real good looks, but we didn't execute."

Kessel gave the Coyotes a 1-0 lead with a power-play goal at 2:25 of the first period when he finished a give-and-go with Clayton Keller.

His second goal made it 3-1 with 1:02 remaining in the third period. It was an empty-net power-play goal that came after Flyers forward Kevin Hayes was called for cross-checking Coyotes defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson with 2:23 remaining in the third period.

Ekman-Larsson did not return to the game, and Tocchet had no update on his condition.

It was Kessel's second two-goal game of the season (Oct. 17 against the Nashville Predators). He had two goals in the previous 23 games.

Tocchet said he wasn't worried about Kessel producing, in part because the 32-year-old forward, who played his 804th consecutive regular-season game Thursday, was dealing with an injury.

"He's missed the net more than I've seen him," Tocchet said. "He's passed the puck well, given some guys some Grade A (scoring chances). He was banged up for a stretch injury-wise that he was playing through. We get him healthy and skating, it's better to have the record we have and him struggling ... he'll turn it around for us."

Garland scored on the rebound of a Jakob Chychrun shot to make it 2-0 at 12:57 of the third period.

Niskanen made it 2-1 with 4:43 remaining. With Elliott pulled for the extra attacker, his shot from the left point went off Garland's leg and over Kuemper's shoulder.

Video: ARI@PHI: Garland cleans up rebound in the 3rd


They said it

"A win's a win, we're in first place, I'm happy. I'm not sure we can play that way and be a first-place team or hang around. We hung in there, couple guys made some good plays when they had to. Bottom line, [goalie Darcy Kuemper] was outstanding." -- Coyotes coach Rick Tocchet

"I think we need to take the positives out of that one and move on. You're not going to win them all in this league, and there are going to be games that you deserve to win and you don't, and you have to regroup and come back the next day." -- Flyers goalie Brian Elliott


Need to know

The Coyotes are 8-1-2 in their past 11 road games. ... Arizona's 18 shots on goal were their second fewest in a win this season; they had 17 in a 5-3 victory at the New Jersey Devils on Oct. 25. ... The Flyers went 0-for-3 on the power play and are 6-for-48 (12.5 percent) in their past 15 games.


What's next

Coyotes: At the Pittsburgh Penguins on Friday (7 p.m. ET; ESPN+, ATTSN-PT, FS-A, FS-A PLUS, NHL.TV)

Flyers: Host the Ottawa Senators on Saturday (1 p.m. ET; TVAS, NBCSP, TSN5, NHL.TV)

Video: Kessel's two goals lift Coyotes to win over Flyers

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