|Coyotes aim to keep surging vs. Senators|
The Arizona Coyotes hope to run their points streak to five games Saturday afternoon when they host the Ottawa Senators.
The Coyotes are 3-0-1 in their last four games, and their power play has come alive in the past two. After scoring on three of six power play opportunities in Thursday night's 5-2 win over the Nashville Predators, Arizona has converted on five of its last eight chances with the man advantage.
"I felt earlier in the year we weren't making those couple of good passes. Now we are making those two passes and someone's getting a shot," head coach Rick Tocchet said after Thursday's win.
Two-time Stanley Cup winner Phil Kessel, picked up in a trade with the Pittsburgh Penguins in the offseason, scored his first two goals as a Coyote on Thursday. Both were on power plays, and both of his linemates, Clayton Keller and Derek Stepan, assisted on each goal.
The Coyotes' No. 1 line has combined for nine assists in six games this season.
"We could have won them all," Kessel said. "We've played well. Guys are confident. Guys are working for each other and playing hard. If we can continue to grow and play well, we should be good."
Goaltender Darcy Kuemper has also been key to the Coyotes' recent success. He set a franchise record on Thursday by allowing two or fewer goals for the 12th consecutive game, dating back to last season. Only 20 other goalies in NHL history have accomplished the feat.
Arizona played with just five defensemen on Thursday after losing Jordan Oesterle to a head injury 17 seconds into the game. A move to add depth to that unit before the Ottawa game could happen.
The Senators, last place in the Eastern Conference, continue their three-game Western Conference road trip in Arizona. Ottawa is coming off a 3-2 overtime shootout loss to the Vegas Golden Knights on Thursday.
Jean-Gabriel Pageau is one of three players with a team-leading two goals after he scored against Vegas. Anders Nilsson stopped 52 shots to give his team a chance for its first road win.
"He really got us at that point. We fought in front of him, we did a lot of good things," Pageau said of Nilsson, speaking to the Ottawa Citizen. "He gave us a chance to go get a point and almost get an extra point. It's a big point for us on the road and we've got to keep our heads up."
Coach D.J. Smith was encouraged by his team's effort versus the Golden Knights, saying the Senators will win more games with that kind of a quality opponent.
Ottawa has lost four straight games to the Coyotes, the Senators' last win coming in overtime on March 10, 2017.
--Field Level Media