TEMPE, Ariz. (AP)Juuso Valimaki broke a tie with 3:12 left and the Arizona Coyotes beat the Chicago Blackhawks 4-2 on Saturday night.
Valimaki also assisted on Arizona’s first two goals to help the Coyotes extend their points streak to eight games.
Clayton Keller scored his 32nd goal of the season to tie it six minutes into the third period. Keller also had two assists, giving him 43 for the season. He has scored in eight straight games.
Barrett Hayton – who has points in each of his last seven games – connected for Arizona in the second period, and Matias Maccelli scored into an empty net with 38.3 seconds to go.
“It’s not always pretty but when you’re confident like we are right now we found a way,” Coyotes coach Andre Tourigny said.
Ivan Prosvetov, making his third start of the season, stopped 32 shots for Arizona to improve to 3-0. The Coyotes have won four straight, all at home, and are 20-11-3 at Mullett Arena.
“There’s no secret, the whole team is playing very well,” Prosvetov said about his record. “I definitely put some work in during the summer and I still do now.”
“My first couple games were good, but I couldn’t control some of the rebounds. I saw the puck better and killed some chaos in front of the net.”
Valimaki’s goal was just his third of the season. He has 28 assists, behind only Keller and Maccelli on Arizona.
“I saw a penalty coming, and just made a pass and broke through,” the defenseman said of the go-ahead goal. “Some of those plays those guys are making right now, it’s unbelievable. All of a sudden the puck was on my stick and it went in.
“We’re a really tight group. It’s just really fun right now. Everyone’s playing really well and we’re pretty confident in our game.”
The Blackhawks, though last in the Central Division, were coming off wins at home against league-leading Boston on Tuesday night and at Nashville on Thursday night.
“I thought we skated pretty well, similar to the way we’ve played lately,” Chicago coach Luke Richardson said. “We didn’t make many (turnovers), but we made them at the wrong time.”
Chicago took a 2-1 lead at 4:14 of the third on Caleb Jones’ power-play goal.
Chicago’s efforts to defuse the home-ice edge paid off quickly, as the Blackhawks scored 35 seconds into the game. Jujhar Khaira tipped in a shot by Jarred Tinordi for his fourth goal of the season. The Coyotes tied it with 2:12 left in the second period on Hayton’s 14th goal.
Alex Stalock made 17 saves for Chicago.
WELCOME TO THE CLUB
Chicago defenseman Wyatt Kaiser made his NHL debut Saturday night.
The 20-year-old signed a three-year entry-level contract earlier this week. A third-round pick in 2020, Kaiser played as a junior this season at Minnesota-Duluth.
Kaiser played 15:40 and blocked one shot.
“Tough way to (lose), but I had a blast,” Kaiser said. ”After the first shift, I’m just playing hockey. I made a few iffy plays, but I’m still learning.”
Blackhawks: LW Andreas Englund (hamstring) missed his sixth straight game. … RW Cole Guttman had right shoulder surgery earlier this week.
Coyotes: RW Nick Schmaltz returned after missing three games with an upper-body injury. … D Josh Brown missed his second straight game with an undisclosed injury. … G Karel Vejmelka didn’t dress for the game as Arizona wanted to get ice time for Prosvetov.
Blackhawks: At Colorado Monday.
Coyotes: At Winnipeg Tuesday. —
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