SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) Clayton Keller scored his third goal in three games and the Arizona Coyotes beat the San Jose Sharks 5-2 on Thursday night to extend their win streak to four.

Keller, who leads the Coyotes in points, got his 12th goal of the season in the second period as part of a three-point night. He took a lead pass from Alex Kerfoot in the attacking zone and broke in alone on Sharks goaltender Mackenzie Blackwood, beating him through the legs with a backhand.

“He’s playing rock solid,” Coyotes coach André Tourigny said. “I think he’s worked really hard all season long. He has been good away from the puck. I think he’s a player who has high determination. He's going inside, he’s going at the net, he’s getting in the primary area and he has a really good IQ. And when he plays at that pace and he attacks really quickly, I think he gets the opponent off guard a little bit.”

Keller and Kerfoot both had a goal and two assists. Michael Kesselring and Lawson Crouse also scored for the Coyotes, and Nick Schmaltz had a goal and an assist. Karel Vejmelka made 29 saves in the win, though his career-long shutout streak of more than 130 minutes was snapped in the second period.

Anthony Duclair and Filip Zadina scored for the Sharks, who have lost four straight and are tied with Chicago for the fewest points in the NHL.

“We’ve been through this before," defenseman Jan Rutta said. "We’ve got to work and not hang our heads that much. There are a lot of areas where we can execute and be better, but we’ve got some good things. So just, stay positive and keep working.”

The Coyotes, in the thick of the playoff picture, are on a hot streak after dropping four straight earlier this month. It was Arizona's second win over San Jose in a week, with the Coyotes blanking the Sharks 1-0 last Friday at home.

Arizona improved to 6-8-2 on the road, easily on pace to improve from last season's NHL-worst 7-25-9 record away from home.

“If you can be .500 on the road and good at home, you have a good chance to make the playoffs,” Schmaltz said. “So that’s what we’re striving for. We were bad last year on the road, so taking more pride and trying to play a little bit more simple.”

After a scoreless first period, Arizona took control in the second with three goals. Kesselring put the Coyotes ahead at 4:58, chipping a pass from Keller over Blackwood’s glove.

Duclair responded for the Sharks with a breakaway goal. Off a deflection by Fabian Zetterlund, Duclair took the puck from his own end, sped past two flat-footed defenders and went the distance for a tying goal before Keller gave Arizona the lead back two minutes later.

Kerfoot added a goal at 12:56 of the second, putting the puck in with his skate after a centering feed by Schmaltz. Video review determined Kerfoot did not kick the puck in.

“As the game went on, we cheated for offense," Sharks coach David Quinn said. “When you haven’t been scoring goals, I think that’s what happens, and that’s too bad because I thought we had a lot of energy.”

Zadina's early third-period goal cut the lead in the half, but Keller and Kerfoot combined with Schmaltz on a tic-tac-toe power-play goal to give Arizona the insurance goal back.

Arizona's Sean Durzi returned to the lineup on defense after missing the previous five games with a lower-body injury. He had an assist on Keller's goal, and credited Vejmelka's performance in net.

“I don’t know if it was our best effort, but we got it done - which is all that matters,” Durzi said. “We’re going to have to look at a few things, clean it up. We got the big save at the big moment.”


Coyotes: At Colorado on Saturday.

Sharks: At Vancouver on Saturday.



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