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game recap

Richardson scores four goals for Coyotes in victory against Canucks

Arizona wins fifth straight, moves within one point of second Western wild card

by Alan Robinson / NHL.com Correspondent

Richardson's four-goal outing

VAN@ARI: Richardson leads Coyotes with four-goal game

Brad Richardson finds the net twice in the 1st period, once in the 2nd and once more in the 3rd, setting a new career high in a 5-2 win

  • 01:44 •

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Brad Richardson had his first four-goal game in the NHL, and the Arizona Coyotes won their fifth in a row, 5-2 against the Vancouver Canucks at Gila River Arena on Thursday.

Richardson matched the most goals in a game by a Coyotes player since the franchise moved to Arizona from Winnipeg in 1996 (Keith Tkachuk on March 20, 1997, against the Chicago Blackhawks).

"I think he took over the whole game, to be honest," Coyotes forward Alex Galchenyuk said.

 

[WATCH: All Canucks vs. Coyotes highlights]

 

Darcy Kuemper made 37 saves for his sixth straight win, and Richard Panik and Vinnie Hinostroza each had three assists for Arizona (31-28-5), which has won eight of 10 and trails the Minnesota Wild by one point for the second wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Western Conference.

The Coyotes have won five games in a row twice this season (also Oct. 23-Nov. 2). It is the first time they've done that since 2011-12, the last season they reached the playoffs.

"We've been playing some really good hockey lately," Hinostroza said. "It's the time of the year when every win is so important. We want to be there at the end, make the playoffs. Every game from now on, and the past couple of weeks, is a playoff game."

Tanner Pearson and Antoine Roussel scored for the Canucks (27-29-9), who have lost five of their past six and trail the Wild by five points for the second Western wild card.

"It's disappointing. Very disappointing," Roussel said. "We had some good stretches and had some bad flashes that cost us."

Video: Enterprise Hat Trick: Richardson scores first three

Richardson made it 1-0 at 11:58 of the first period when he exited the penalty box and scored on a breakaway for the Coyotes, who allowed two goals or fewer for the seventh time in 10 games.

"Obviously, the goals are nice and I know I have goal-scoring in me, but our whole team revolves around defense," Richardson said. "That's how we're going to have to win games, to try to get a playoff spot."

Pearson tied it 1-1 at 14:01 with his first goal since being traded to Vancouver by the Pittsburgh Penguins on Monday.

Richardson put Arizona up 2-1 at 14:45. He completed the second hat trick of his NHL career, first since Oct. 23, 2010, to make it 3-1 at 11:49 of the second off Panik's backhand pass from the goal line.

"He played a great game," Coyotes coach Rick Tocchet. "Since I took the job here (in the 2017-18 season), [Richardson is] probably the guy I can rely on (the most) on and off the ice. Any time we would get sloppy, he would go out there and settle the team down."

Galchenyuk scored on a 5-on-3 power play at 17:25 for a 4-1 lead.

Video: VAN@ARI: Galchenyuk nets laser on two-man advantage

Roussel made it 4-2 at 6:29 of the third.

"I thought we showed immaturity at times and in a game where you can't do that," said Canucks coach Travis Green, whose team was coming off a 3-2 shootout loss at Colorado on Wednesday. "We weren't smart enough with our effort and gave them a couple of goals you can't give up, especially when we're a tired team coming in."

Richardson scored his fourth of the night and 16th of the season at 8:03 for the 5-2 final.

"We had to close the game up. We made our game simpler and created our chance there," Galchenyuk said.

Arizona went 4-0-0 against Vancouver. It is the first time the Coyotes/Winnipeg Jets franchise swept the Canucks since joining the NHL in 1979-80.

 

They said it

"We made some costly mistakes, and this time of the year those mistakes can't happen." -- Canucks defenseman Alexander Edler

"It has been a point of emphasis, we know we haven't been great at home (14-14-3). We've talked about it, we've changed a few little things with our scheduling. It's a good time of the year to be winning at home." -- Coyotes forward Brad Richardson on their four straight wins at Gila River Arena

 

Need to know

Edler (facial injury) was minus-1 with five blocked shots in 23:12 in his first game since Feb. 2. … Canucks forward Adam Gaudette (illness) returned after missing one game. … The Coyotes are 3-0-0 to start a seven-game homestand. … Coyotes forward Derek Stepan left the game at 2:31 of the third with an apparent left-knee injury following a collision along the boards with Canucks defenseman Troy Stecher. … Kuemper is 8-1-0 in his past nine starts.

 

What's next

Canucks: At the Vegas Golden Knights on Sunday (4 p.m. ET; ATTSN-RM, SNP, NHL.TV)

Coyotes: Host the Detroit Red Wings on Saturday (8 p.m. ET; FS-A PLUS, FS-D+, NHL.TV)

Video: Richardson nets four as Coyotes win fifth straight

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