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Senators extend Coyotes’ losing streak to 7 games

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Tempe, Arizona. (AP) Mark Kastelić has been preparing for the game with family and friends. He signed a child’s hockey stick during pre-game warm-ups, which he rarely does.

When the puck was out of play, Kastelić sneaked into the crowd and even found his mother in the corner.

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Kastelic’s first NHL game in his hometown was going to be unforgettable, no matter what. He added the perfect topper to a perfect day by scoring the winning goal.

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Kastelic scored in the third period to give Ottawa a two-goal lead as the Senators held on to a 5-3 win over his hometown Arizona Coyotes on Thursday night.

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“It’s very surreal,” Kastelic said. “I have dreamed of this moment since childhood. You’ve had many ups and downs along the way and I’m finally here. It was really special.”

The Senators quickly pulled ahead by two goals and spent the rest of the night fending off the pesky Coyotes.

Brady Tkachukanother native of Arizona, and Derik Brassard scored in a tense first period, which included the Arizona All-Star Game Clayton Kellercross-checking game disciplines.

The Coyotes have halved their two-goal gap three times, most recently by Barrett Haytonbackhand with 2:44 left. Then Arizona pulled out the goaltender Karel Veimelka and sent a flurry of shots at Anton Forsbergbut Artem Zub scored into an empty net to finish it.

Alex DeBrinkat also scored and Forsberg saved 27 shots.

“This league is hard to beat,” said Senators coach DJ Smith. “We were in those games where we were beaten on the shot clock and you just stayed in the game. You cannot cheat.”

The coyotes made them work for it.

Arizona fought back from a shaky, penalty-filled first period with fragmentation and timely goals. The Coyotes fell slightly behind, extending their losing streak to seven games.

Dylan Gunther scored a goal and made an assist Lawson Crouse also scored for Arizona. Weimelka made 42 saves.

“Today we made an effort and we didn’t manage a bit,” Krause said. “We are going through a difficult period and we must overcome it.”

Tkachuk scored midway through the first period, landing a rebound high in the air. Keller was then sent off for retaliation after Eric Brannstrom hit him twice with a stick.

Brassard scored in the middle of a five-minute penalty, scoring a loose puck after his redirect went under Wijmelka. The Coyotes disputed the goaltender’s interference, but it was upheld after review.

“It was a tough choice, but we thought we should try because it was the game’s turning point,” Coyotes coach Andre Turigny said. “The guys reacted really well.”

Günther scored on the powerplay midway through the second period with a right circle shot over the shoulder of Forsberg’s stick.

DeBrinkat again gave Ottawa a two-goal lead at the end of the third period, hitting the puck under Weimelka until he pushed it into the net.

The coyotes still had to fight.

Arizona endured a long shift in their own half and Crouse cut Ottawa’s lead to 3-2 with a goal on a pass from Nick Byugstad.

Kastelic scored in the middle of the third period, redirecting a pass from Jake Sanderson after the Coyotes flipped him out of their net.

In the end, it was the winning goal – no less than in his hometown.

SMITH’S 100TH ANNIVERSARY

Smith was hired in 2019 after Guy Boucher was fired the previous season.

Progress has been slow, but Smith did hit a milestone on Thursday night: 100 career wins.

“It may have taken me a little longer than I wanted, but I’m hoping for more,” said Smith, who scored 100-123-27 in four seasons with Ottaway.

NOTES: Coyotes Troy Strecher played his 400th NHL game. … Ottawa F Mathieu Joseph was with the team in Arizona, but did not play. He has been out since 8 December due to a lower body injury. … Weimelka is 0-5 and conceded 21 goals in January … The Senators snapped a four-game losing streak in Arizona. …Arizona D Shane Gostisbeecher received a game violation in the 10th minute after the Zub goal.

NEXT

Senators: In Colorado on Saturday night.

Coyotes: In Minnesota on a Saturday night.

AP NHL: http://www.apnews.com/hub/NHL and http://www.twitter.com/AP-Sports

Senators extend Coyotes’ losing streak to seven games originally appeared on NBCSports.com




Source: sports.yahoo.com

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