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game recap

Keller, Coyotes pull away from Canucks

Breaks tie in third, Richardson, Crouse each follows with shorthanded goal

by Alan Robinson / Correspondent

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Clayton Keller scored the go-ahead goal early in the third period, and Darcy Kuemper made 27 saves for the Arizona Coyotes in a 4-1 win against the Vancouver Canucks at Gila River Arena on Thursday.

Alex Galchenyuk stole the puck from Canucks defenseman Derrick Pouliot and passed to Keller in the left face-off circle for a shot between goaltender Anders Nilsson's pads to make it 2-1 at 3:55.

"We had a good forecheck there, and I was lucky it went right off his skate to my stick and I kind of shot it in the five-hole," said Keller, who has four goals and an assist in the past five games. "It's definitely a shot I like to do."


[WATCH: All Canucks vs. Coyotes highlights]


Brad Richardson scored shorthanded following another Vancouver turnover to put Arizona ahead 3-1 at 12:16, and Lawson Crouse scored shorthanded into an empty net with two minutes left for the 4-1 final score.

The Coyotes (4-5-0) have won two in a row and three of their past four games.

Video: VAN@ARI: Keller pots go-ahead goal off turnover

Kuemper, making his second straight start because No. 1 goalie Antti Raanta has flu-like symptoms, was coming off a 35-save performance in a 4-1 victory at the Columbus Blue Jackets on Tuesday.

"He's really confident back there. He looks big in net right now," defenseman Alex Goligoski said. "When a goalie looks big, he's playing confident. He's been great for us."

Goligoski put the Coyotes ahead 1-0 with a backhand shot from the slot 43 seconds into the second period. It was the first goal by the Coyotes in three home games and the first by an Arizona defenseman this season.

The Canucks (6-5-0) tied it 1-1 less than two minutes later when Darren Archibald, playing his first NHL game this season, deflected Troy Stecher's shot from the point past Kuemper at 2:23.

"I thought we played good hockey, I thought we were pushing," Vancouver coach Travis Green said. "Even after the [Keller] goal, we made a strong push …. for a back-to-back game, and playing a team that's playing well."

Canucks forward Sven Baertschi (concussion) and defensemen Alexander Edler (knee) and Christopher Tanev (hip) did not play after they were injured Wednesday in a 3-2 shootout win at the Vegas Golden Knights, their fifth victory in seven games. Forwards Elias Pettersson (concussion) and Brock Boeser (groin) remained out.

"To get guys coming in and out of the lineup early in the season, it is tough," forward Bo Horvat said. "But at the same time, we've got to find a way to win games. It was tough to not get two points here."

The Coyotes have scored 16 goals in five games since scoring three in their first four games.

"We were gripping [the sticks] a little bit tight when we weren't scoring, and it was the difference in some games," Goligoski said. "We dug ourselves a hole when we were 1-4. You can't get behind early in the season, we know that all too well."

The Coyotes started 0-10-1 in 2017-18 and never got close to .500 after that.

"There was urgency in that we had a chance tonight to get close to .500," coach Rick Tocchet said. "Was this a must-win? In our eyes, this was a game we needed. I liked that while we were sloppy in the first two periods, our players dug in in the third period."

Video: VAN@ARI: Richardson jams home rebound for SHG


They said it

"It's good to get the first one, and now I'm not satisfied, you always want more. I'm going to focus on the next game and keep doing what I'm doing." -- Canucks forward Adam Gaudette on getting his first NHL point with an assist on Darren Archibald's goal

Video: VAN@ARI: Archibald redirects shot past Kuemper


"I'll be honest (about) Clayton Keller: The first two periods, I didn't think he was good. But he dug in, he scored the big goal for us, and he actually played good in the third. That's what you need in this league. Even the great teams, they have an off night, but they find a way to win it." -- Coyotes coach Rick Tocchet


Need to know

The Canucks played their third game in four days. They have scored eight goals in their past five games and haven't scored more than three goals in seven games. ... Vancouver has allowed the first goal in eight of its 10 games. ... Nilsson started for the second time in three games and made 26 saves on 29 shots. ... Galchenyuk's assist on Keller's goal was his first point with the Coyotes. After being acquired in a trade from the Montreal Canadiens on June 15, the forward missed the first seven games with a lower-body injury before making his Arizona debut Tuesday. ... The Coyotes have allowed two power-play goals in nine games, the second fewest in the NHL behind the Tampa Bay Lightning (one). ... Keller has two goals and three assists in five games against the Canucks. ... Arizona won consecutive games in October for the first time since Oct. 24-26, 2015.


What's next

Canucks: Host the Pittsburgh Penguins on Saturday (10 p.m. ET; CBC, SN360, SN1, CITY, ATTSN-PT, NHL.TV)

Coyotes: Host the Tampa Bay Lightning on Saturday (9 p.m. ET; FS-A, SUN, NHL.TV)

Video: Keller scores game-winner as Coyotes top Canucks, 4-1

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