By Jack Magruder, The Associated Press on December 19, 2023.
TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) – Michael Kesselring scored with 3:33 remaining to cap a four-goal comeback in the Arizona Coyotes’ 4-3 National Hockey League victory over Ottawa on Tuesday night, spoiling the return of Senators interim coach Jacques Martin.
Jack McBain, J.J. Moser and Clayton Keller also scored for the Coyotes, who trailed 3-0 after the first period. Moser and Keller scored 33 seconds apart in the third to tie it 3-3 at 9:47, and Kesselring’s goal gave Arizona its third straight victory.
“We kept coming and kept coming and we found a way,” coach Andre Tourigny said. “When Bainer broke the ice, we all had the feeling, OK, it’s not over. Don’t know if we will make it, but we’re still in it. And we were.”
Angus Crookshank, Josh Norris and Dominik Kubalik scored for the Senators in their first game since coach D.J. Smith was fired Monday. Martin was 342-255-96 in his first stint as Ottawa coach from 1996 to 2004.
“I thought for two periods, we played pretty good,” said Martin, who began his NHL coaching career 37 years ago with St. Louis. “I think when they got the second goal, we needed to make some adjustments technically. Not to spend as much time in our zone.
“I felt comfortable. I think it’s going to be a process. We have different areas that we need to be better and solve. It’s not going to happen all in one day. But I think what I want to see is a progression as we move along.”
Hall of Fame forward Daniel Alfredsson, a longtime Ottawa star, made his debut as an assistant coach for the Senators, who have lost five in a row.
Arizona goaltender Karel Vejmelka stopped all 16 shots he faced after replacing Connor Ingram following Kubalik’s goal late in the first period. Ingram stopped three of six shots.
The Coyotes dominated the third period, outshooting Ottawa 13-5. They finished with a 39-21 shots advantage.
Kesselring’s winning goal ricocheted in after hitting Ottawa defenceman Travis Hamonic’s skate.
“Unlucky bounce there,” Senators forward Tim StÃ¼tzle said. “No excuses. We gave up too many chances tonight, and they are a very good team.”
Joonas Korpisalo made 34 saves for the Senators in the fourth game of a five-game trip that ends Thursday in Colorado.
The Coyotes improved to 11-5 at 4,400-seat Mullett Arena, their best home start since 2009-10 when they also began 11-5 and won 16 of their first 21 at home.
Crookshank, Norris and Kubalik scored in the first period, the first goals the Coyotes had given up on their three-game homestand.
“We knew they would come out with energy,” Tourigny said. “We saw it from the first faceoff. They were pushing hard.”
Crookshank opened the scoring four minutes in when he tipped in Artem Zub’s shot from right blue line through traffic. Crookshank was recalled Sunday after compiling 10 goals and 11 assists for Belleville of the American Hockey League.
“It was a pretty special moment,” Crookshank said. “I am still trying to find a way to digest it. It was cool. I saw my parents jump up right away, which is something I will never forget.”
Norris scored eight seconds into a power play on a slap shot from the right circle to make it 2-0 at 13:06, and Kubalik scored on a nifty backhand redirection of a pass from Erik Brannstrom just 73 seconds later.
The Coyotes posted shutouts in the first two games of the homestand. Crookshank’s goal was the first by an opponent at even strength in 139:47.
McBain beat Korpisalo at 14:10 of the second, 10 seconds after a Senators penalty expired, when he put a rebound of Logan Cooley’s shot into an open side to make it 3-1. Moser scored after Matias Maccelli took the puck from Norris along the side boards.
Senators forward Vladimir Tarasenko played in his 700th game after missing the previous two to attend to a family matter. Mathieu Joseph missed his second straight game with a lower-body injury.
Senators: At Colorado on Thursday.
Coyotes: At San Jose on Thursday.
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