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Coyotes stay hot at home, down Blackhawks

Feb 28, 2023; Tempe, Arizona, USA; Chicago Blackhawks center Andreas Athanasiou (89) scores a goal against Arizona Coyotes goaltender Karel Vejmelka (70) during the third period at Mullett Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Juuso Valimaki scored the go-ahead goal with 3:12 left as the streaking Arizona Coyotes won for the fourth straight time Saturday night, topping the Chicago Blackhawks 4-2 in Tempe, Ariz.

With the game knotted at 2-all, Clayton Keller found Valimaki, who had two assists, wide open on the back door for the defenseman’s third goal of the season and the game-winning tally.

Matias Maccelli’s empty-netter — his seventh marker — put the game away with 39 seconds left.

Keller had a goal and two assists to extend his season-best point streak to eight games for Arizona (27-32-11, 65 points).

Barrett Hayton scored to move his point streak to a career-high seven outings while goaltender Ivan Prosvetov (3-0-0) stopped 32 shots.

Right winger Nick Schmaltz returned to the lineup after missing three games with a lower-body injury and had an assist.

The Coyotes have an eight-game point streak (6-0-2) and have won six straight at home, where they are 20-11-3 overall.

Jujhar Khaira and Caleb Jones scored goals for Chicago (24-39-6, 54 points), and goalie Alex Stalock made 17 saves.

Defenseman Wyatt Kaiser, 20, made his NHL debut by skating 16:11 and finishing minus-1.

The Blackhawks are 3-7-1 in their past 11 games and lost for the first time in three games.

In the final meeting between the clubs in the 2022-23 campaign, it didn’t take long for the visitors to assert themselves by scoring on their first shot.

With his skates on the blue line, defenseman Jarred Tinordi launched a shot toward Prosvetov. Serving as traffic out front, Khaira clipped the puck and sent it past the Russian goalie for his fourth goal of the season just 35 seconds in.

But late in the second period, Keller flipped a puck from above the left circle and Hayton redirected it, potting his 14th goal at 17:48.

In the third period on the power play, Chicago managed to break the tie on Prosvetov’s equipment malfunction when Lukas Reichel rushed in on the goalie.

On the Reichel save, Prosvetov pushed off the near post and lost his right skate blade. Unable to keep his balance, he allowed Jones to score for the fourth time at 4:14.

However, Keller tied it when he found a loose puck and patiently roofed his 32nd marker less than two minutes later.

–Field Level Media

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