“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.
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