Roundup of matches on December 16
Mats Zuccarello continued his nine-game point streak in style, earning a hat trick in the Minnesota Wild’s 4-1 win over the Chicago Blackhawks at Xcel Energy Center on Friday.
Zuccarello’s line partner, Kirill Kaprizov, had a goal and two assists, while Marc-André Fleury blocked 28 of 29 shots he faced in front of the Wild net (17-11-2). This is the fourth straight victory for the Minnesota team and sixth in a row at home.
In the opposing camp, Jonathan Toews scored his 10th goal of the season and Petr Mrazek stopped 18 shots. The Blackhawks (7-18-4) suffer their sixth straight loss and their 14th in their last 15 meetings.
Video: Zuccarello with the hat-trick, the Wild beat the Blackhawks
Zuccarello got the ball rolling at 4:54 of the first period by redirecting a pass from Kaprizov behind Mrazek. Kaprizov then doubled the lead moments before halftime after narrowly pushing a return shot into the Blackhawks net.
Before returning to the locker room a second time, Zuccarello made it 3-0 Wild with his second goal of the evening, after a play that had mystified the visitors’ defense.
Toews stopped the Wild’s momentum on a power play in the third period, to no avail. Zuccarello sealed the match in an empty net a few minutes later, completing his hat-trick in the process.
Blackhawks forward Tyler Johnsonwho was back in the lineup on Tuesday after a 20-game absence (ankle injury), did not play in the game against the Wild.
Blues 5, Flames 2
Jordan Kyrou scored two goals and helped the St. Louis Blues defeat the Flames 5-2 at the Scotiabank Saddledome in Calgary.
Ivan Barbashev and Pavel Buchnevich each had a goal and an assist. Brandon Saad was the other scorer for the Blues (15-15-1), who won their third straight game. Thomas Greiss did well in front of his own cage with 41 saves.
In the opposing camp, Connor Mackey scored his first two goals of the season and Jacob Markstrom blocked 18 shots. The Flames (13-12-6) have lost their last five games.
Kyrou gave the Blues a 2-1 lead at 3:08 of the second period with a wrist shot that sent the puck over Markstrom’s shoulder on the power play.
Buchnevich scored the game-winning goal at 4:46 of the third period, continuing a strong 21-point streak in his last 16 games.
Video: Kyrou and Greiss shine, Blues win in Calgary
The Blues didn’t look back after that, although Mackey closed the gap with his second goal of the game at 7:40. Less than two minutes later, it was that same Mackey who had his pass intercepted by Saad, who restored the Blues’ two-goal lead.
Kyrou added the finishing touch midway through the engagement by directing a shot that deflected off the opposing defender MacKenzie Weegar before ending up in the net.
Earlier in the match, Barbashev opened the scoring after a nice 2-1 rally with Robert Thomas.
Then Mackey tied the game with the first of his two goals, deflecting a shot from Dillon Dube behind Greiss.
Islanders 4, Coyotes 5
Clayton Kellerwith two goals, was the main offensive driver for the Arizona Coyotes in a 5-4 win over the New York Islanders at Mullett Arena in Tempe.
Keller, who scored five goals in his last two games in Arizona, and Nick Bjugstad scored 14 seconds behind to take the Islanders’ lead in the second period. Travis Boyd scored his team’s fourth goal at the start of the third period, Nick Schmaltz collected three assists and Karel Vejmelka30 saves in front of the Coyotes net (10-14-4).
The scorers on the Islanders side (17-13-1) were Noah Dobson, Mathew Barzal, Anthony Beauvillier and Sebastian Aho. Ilya Sorokin blocked 24 shots.
Video: Coyotes defeat Islanders
Boyd headed to the net and grabbed his own return to put the Coyotes back in front, this time at 4-3 at 2:08 of the final period. Keller widened the gap with a one-timer from the right circle. Anthony Beauvillier gave the Islanders hope by closing the half deficit with 1:19 left in the game, but the New Yorkers ran out of time.
Earlier, Aho gave the Islanders a 1-0 lead in the second minute of the game with a one-timer from the left point. It was the first time in five games that the team scored the opening goal.
Barzal then doubled the lead at 13:31, deflecting his teammate’s shot Robin Salo behind Vejmelka. Shayne Gostisbehere got the Coyotes on the board at 7:16.
It was just before the halfway point that Keller and Bjugstad combined to steal the lead from the Islanders. The Coyotes started the period strong, leading 10-0 in shots after their two quick goals.
Dobson then tied the game 3-3 a few minutes later.
the attacker Kyle Palmieri was making a comeback with the Islanders. He had missed the last ten games of his own, injured in the upper body.