Duclair caps hat trick in Coyotes’ OT win vs. Senators
OTTAWA — A healthy scratch for six of the last 11 games, Anthony Duclair made a good case for himself to be kept in the lineup on Saturday.
Three cases, actually.
Duclair completed his hat trick at 1:23 of overtime as the Arizona Coyotes nipped the Ottawa Senators 3-2 at Canadian Tire Centre for their second consecutive win.
The offensive outburst gives the 22-year old former third-round pick six goals in 15 games.
“It’s always tough to be in and out of the lineup,” Duclair said. “At the same time, it starts in practice. It starts with preparation. You want to do your best every night to help the team win. You have to keep a positive attitude. That’s the main key. Every time you get an opportunity, you want to take it and run away with it.”
Duclair tied the game at 1 with a breakaway goal in the final minute of the opening period. He then knotted it again at 2 with 8:28 remaining in regulation time when Senators goalie Mike Condon missed a loose puck in an attempt to prevent from having another breakaway.
“I just didn’t get any of it,” said Condon, who had the puck slide under him before Duclair retrieved it behind the goal line and tucked it in the open net. “Saw an opportunity to make a play, it was the right decision. And I just didn’t execute it.”
Duclair’s winner was a shot from the right circle that snuck by Condon and trickled over the line.
“Even if he hasn’t been playing a lot, he’s been working individually, extra time on the ice,” Coyotes goalie Antti Raanta (30 saves) said of Duclair. “He’s a great guy to be around. He’s been supportive even though he hasn’t been playing. When he gets a chance, you can see he doesn’t want to go to the scratching room anymore. He has the skill. He can score goals. He can make the plays. Today we saw three of those. I’m so happy for him.”
While the Coyotes (4-15-3) won their second straight, the loss was the second in a row for the Senators (8-4-6).
Mark Stone and Mark Borowiecki each scored while Condon made 25 saves for Ottawa.
“That was two points we probably needed to get, or should have had,” said Borowiecki, whose second goal of the season had the Senators in front until Duclair’s heroics. “I don’t think we played bad, but we just didn’t play good enough to win.”
Senators captain Erik Karlsson agreed.
“This is a team we should beat, if you look at the standings,” he said. “They did a great job today and they played well. We’ve got to give credit to them. They played smart. They capitalized on the opportunities they got and they made us make some crucial mistakes at the wrong times. We need to be a lot better.”
The Coyotes recorded their first regulation win of the season in Montreal on Thursday, a game that was preceded by a team meeting.
“It wasn’t a pretty meeting, but we had some guys who said some really good stuff for us,” coach Rick Tocchet said. “I think it kind of just helped us refocus on what’s important and how to win in this league. It’s obviously helped the last couple of games.”
Duclair called it “a great meeting.”
“We hate to lose like anyone else. It’s been a real struggle and all, but we do believe in ourselves. You’ve got to take it on a personal level. Everybody has to look at themselves in the mirror. You’ve got to know your role. Everybody’s got an opportunity here to play in this League. You can be out of this league in a heartbeat. You want to make sure everybody knows their role, their job and collectively as a team we’ll be better.”
And in scoring his second career hat trick, Duclair did his job to perfection in Ottawa.
“When he’s sticking on pucks and he works, he can be a good player for us,” Tocchet said. “He had a hell of night for us tonight. He’s been upset not playing, but he wants to learn and he wants to play. He’s been working hard in practice. If he continues to do that, he’s going to be a good player for us.”
NOTES: Coyotes LW Christian Dvorak played his 100th NHL game. ... Coyotes RW Mario Kempe, D Dakota Mermis and G Michael Leighton were scratched. ... Senators F Nick Paul was scratched. ... The Senators left immediately after the game for New York, where they take on the Rangers Sunday night in the opener of a three-game road trip. ... The Coyotes conclude their three-game Canada swing on Monday when they visit the Toronto Maple Leafs.