In Glendale, the Arizona Coyotes got two goals from Phil Kessel and defeated the San Jose Sharks on Saturday, 5-2.
“It’s nice to get going early,” Kessel said. “If we can continue this, keep putting up goals — you get over three goals a game, you’ll win a lot of games.”
Antti Raanta made 31 saves for the Coyotes first win.
“It’s huge,” Kessel said. “When you start well and you know you’re getting some good bounces and things are going in, and you have that confidence, things go better for you.”
Ryan Donato staked the Sharks to a 1-0 lead in the first period.
Timo Meier also scored for the San Jose.
“We created enough chances to win, but we gave up too many chances,” the Sharks’ Logan Couture said. “It’s only the second game, and we’ve got to build off the good things we’re doing.”
Tomas Hertl added an empty net goal on the power play with less than a minute to go in regulation.
“It’s a big thing to get a goal early in the season,” Coyotes head coach Rick Tocchet said of Kessel, who had 14 goals in 70 games last season, his first with Arizona. “It’s good, and he’s just got to stay with it. Phil’s got to stay with it.”
Barrett Hayton, Jakob Chychrun and Clayton Keller added single markers for the Coyotes.“Early on, they brought the pace and we had to react to that,” Hayton said. “Our original push wasn’t there, but that [first] goal from Kessel was huge, it kind of got us going and calmed us.”
Martin Jones made 19 saves in the loss.
The Coyotes won 28 of 47 faceoffs.
“Yeah, it’s something we got to get way better at. It’s an important part of the game … we lost too many, and then you’re chasing the puck all night,” Sharks coach Bob Boughner said. “It’s definitely a weakness of our team right now.