Kessel scores in overtime, Penguins beat Coyotes 3-2
GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) — Pittsburgh coach Mike Sullivan did not like his team’s effort in a loss to San Jose earlier this week. A parade to the penalty box in the first period did not lift his mood.
A dominating second period and a big goal from Phil Kessel had Sullivan feeling a lot better.
“I thought the guys did a pretty good job of keeping their focus,” Sullivan said. “We had a real strong second period.”
Outscored 10-4 in consecutive losses, Pittsburgh fell behind on Clayton Keller’s first-period goal following a flurry of penalties.
The Penguins rallied in the second when Jusso Riikola and Jake Guentzel scored 40 seconds apart, but Derek Stepan scored with 5 1/2 minutes left in the third to tie it.
Pittsburgh had a 4 on 3 in overtime when Richard Panik was called for slashing and Kessel cashed in, redirecting Sidney Crosby’s shot from the point past Darcy Kuemper.
“It started off a little tough, going to the box as much as we were,” Crosby said. “But we got some good kills, got right back at it in the second period and it’s good to get two points.
Arizona had won four of its previous five games and Kuemper was on a four-game winning streak, one short of his career high.
The Coyotes withstood the two quick goals in the second period and rallied in the third, but gave Pittsburgh’s dangerous power play one too many chance.
Kuemper stopped 32 shots, including a nifty glove save on Guentzel late in overtime.
“We scratched and clawed again,” said Coyotes coach Rick Tocchet, a former Penguins assistant. “Those guys have some world-class players over there. We played a good game and had a chance to win the game”
Coming off a 5-2 loss to the Sharks on Tuesday, Pittsburgh had four penalties in the opening 20 minutes against the Coyotes, including two on the same shift. The Coyotes didn’t score on the 5-on-3, but Keller did shortly after it ended, one-timing a pass from Oliver Ekman-Larsson to beat Murray stick side on a 4 on 3.
Keller became the fastest player to 100 career points with his goal, doing it in 132 games.
“It’s a cool accomplishment, but I’m more focused on our team,” he said. “We’re playing good hockey right now.”
The Penguins had a big push at the end of the first period and quickly took the lead on goals 40 seconds apart.
Riikola had the first one on a power play, firing a shot from just inside the blue line that Kuemper couldn’t see through traffic. Guentzel put Pittsburgh ahead on a rebound of his own shot, lifting it over Kuemper from a tough angle.
Arizona appeared to tie it early in the third period when Panik poked a loose puck past a prone Murray. The Penguins challenged the play and the officials called Ekman-Larsson for goalie interference after clipping Murray with his skate.
Stepan converted in the third period, gathering a rebound from just outside the crease and flicking it past Murray.
NOTES: Penguins RW Patric Hornqvist participated in a portion of practice on Thursday, but missed his fourth straight game with a concussion. … Max Domi had been the fastest Arizona player to reach 100 points, doing it in 154 games. … Pittsburgh F Joseph Blandisi had three shots on goal in 21 minutes after being acquired from the Anaheim Ducks for Derek Grant on Thursday.
Pittsburgh plays at Vegas Saturday night.
Arizona starts a six-game road trip at Toronto on Sunday.