Phil Kessel of Madison, WI is on an offensive tear at the moment for the Arizona Coyotes. In his last five games, Kessel has had five goals and three assists for eight points, and is finally starting to become the player the Coyotes were hoping for when they acquired him in a blockbuster deal with the Pittsburgh Penguins on June 29, 2019.
On Saturday, Kessel was brilliant as he notched his seventh career hat trick in a 4-0 Arizona win over the struggling San Jose Sharks. It was a special game for the Coyotes all around. Coyotes goaltender Adin Hill of Comox, British Columbia recorded his second career shutout in making 34 saves.
Kessel scored Arizona’s second, third, and fourth goals of the game, in notching a natural hat trick. After Clayton Keller of Chesterfield, MO opened the scoring at 5:49 of the first period with an unassisted game-winning goal, Kessel put the Coyotes up 2-0 at 14:16 of the second period from Oliver Ekman-Larsson of Karlskrona, Sweden and Keller. Kessel then put the Coyotes up 3-0 with an even-strength marker from Christian Dvorak of Palos, IL and Alex Goligoski of Grand Rapids, MN at 14:03 of the third period. Then with 2:32 left in the game, Kessel scored into an empty net from Nick Schmaltz, (who like Kessel also calls Madison, WI home), and Keller to put the Coyotes up 4-0.
This was Kessel’s first hat trick with the Coyotes. He previously had three with the Toronto Maple Leafs, two with the Boston Bruins and one with the Penguins.
In the five-game point streak, Kessel had one assist in a 5-1 Coyotes win over the Arizona Ducks on March 20, one assist in a 5-1 Coyotes loss to the Colorado Avalanche on March 22, one goal and one assist in a 5-4 Coyotes win over the Avalanche on March 23, and one goal in a 5-2 Coyotes win over the Sharks on March 26.
Kessel now has 14 goals and 12 assists for 26 points in 35 games. Last year was a disaster for Kessel as he had only 38 points in 70 games and was a horrible -21.