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game recap

Hill makes 34 saves, Coyotes shut out Sharks to sweep back-to-back set

Kessel has natural hat trick, Keller scores three points for Arizona

by Alan Robinson / Independent Correspondent

Kessel's natural hat trick

SJS@ARI: Kessel collects natural hat trick vs. Sharks

Phil Kessel netted 3 goals for the Coyotes tonight, earning himself a natural hat trick, helping them earn a 4-0 victory over the Sharks

  • 02:24 •

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Phil Kessel had a natural hat trick, and Adin Hill made 34 saves for the Arizona Coyotes in a 4-0 win against the San Jose Sharks at Gila River Arena on Saturday.

Sharks forward Patrick Marleau played the 1,756th game of his NHL career, tying Mark Messier for second place in NHL history. He is 11 games away from tying Gordie Howe's record.

Kessel scored four goals in a sweep of the back-to-back set for the Coyotes (16-14-5), who have won three straight. Clayton Keller had a goal and two assists.

"Phil's an opportunistic guy, a lot of his goals this year have been hacking and whacking in front of the net, and that's good to see," Coyotes coach Rick Tocchet said. "When Phil's doing that, it's a good thing. When he gets on a hot streak, it's good for us."

Kessel has seven goals in four games against the Sharks this season, and nine during a five-game goal streak against them. He has 14 goals in 35 games this season, as many as he had in 70 games last season.

"I haven't changed anything," Kessel said. "I feel like it's going in a little more, and I'm getting a little luckier than last year, and my body's doing better than it did last year. Whenever your body feels good, it helps."

Hill's shutout was the second of his NHL career. His first was Nov. 29, 2018, against the Nashville Predators.

"We're playing the right way," said Hill, who is starting because goalies Darcy Kuemper and Antti Raanta each is out with a lower-body injury. "We're playing detailed and we're playing to our identity."

Hill made 54 saves on 56 shots in the two games against the Sharks. 

"I don't think he was overtaxed," Tocchet said. "But I don't care, whenever any goalie plays back to back, it's tough. But he's a big guy with stamina, and we wanted to go right back with him, and I thought he was really good."

Video: SJS@ARI: Hill was perfect in net in win over Sharks

Devan Dubnyk made 23 saves for the Sharks (13-16-4), who lost to the Coyotes 5-2 on Friday.

"It's far from over for us," Sharks defenseman Mario Ferraro said. "We're still going to make a run, there's a lot of hockey left. This shouldn't break you down. Yeah, we lost these two … but we have to have the mindset to keep battling."

Keller made it 1-0 at 5:49 of the second period, picking up the puck in the neutral zone and scoring on a wrist shot from the left face-off circle.

Video: SJS@ARI: Keller slides puck under the pads into net

With Christian Fischer screening Dubnyk, Kessel's wrist shot on a power play gave Arizona a 2-0 lead at 14:16.

Kessel shoved the puck past Dubnyk near the left post at 14:03 of the third to make it 3-0. Sharks coach Bob Boughner challenged for goalie interference but the goal was upheld after a video review.

"If we could have come in here and gotten a split, we would have felt good about ourselves going home," Boughner said. "It's a little bit of a blow, but there's nothing we can change now. … There's a lot of games remaining."

Kessel completed the hat trick, scoring into an empty net at 17:28 for the 4-0 final. The hat trick was the seventh of his NHL career and his first since Oct. 11, 2018 for the Pittsburgh Penguins against the Vegas Golden Knights. That was also a natural hat trick.

"It was a blast, obviously it feels good," Kessel said. "It's nice when it's going in, it's a good feeling."

The Coyotes were 1-for-6 during 13:24 of power-play time, all but 2:18 of it in the third period, when Sharks forward Kurtis Gabriel drew a five-minute major for interference.

"When you spend the whole third period penalty killing, it's very tough obviously to catch up," Boughner said.

NOTES: The Coyotes, 4-1-1 in their past six games, begin a nine-game road trip Wednesday against the Colorado Avalanche. … Arizona has scored 20 goals in its past five games after scoring seven in its previous six games. … Kessel has eight points (five goals, three assists) in a five-game point streak. He has scored 385 goals to pass Joe Pavelski for 11th place among United States-born players. … Coyotes defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson had an assist to pass Laurie Boschman and Jeremy Roenick for eighth place in Coyotes/Winnipeg Jets history with 380 points.

Video: Kessel records hat trick, Hill earns shutout in win

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