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Nino Niederreiter scores hat-trick, propels Jets to 5-3 win over Coyotes

© Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports

Leading 2-0 early, the Arizona Coyotes (5-5-1) fell to the Winnipeg Jets (5-4-2) 5-3 inside Mullett Arena on Nov. 4 after a big performance by Nino Niederreiter.

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After fighting through a tight battle, the Coyotes ended up getting a 3-2 win over the Montreal Canadiens on Nov. 2.

Meanwhile, the Jets have been struggling as of late as they weree winless in their last three contests (0-2-1).

Previously, Winnipeg lost to the Las Vegas Golden Knights 5-2 in Nevada on Nov. 2.

Last season, the Jets made the playoffs, but were knocked out in the first round by Vegas in a 4-1 series.

Playing three games in three and a half days, there were going to be questions on if fatigue was going to play a factor for the Coyotes.

And, it eventually did.

First Period

Right after the initial puck drop at center ice, the Coyotes bursted out with speed and got on the board because of it.

Out wide, Arizona left wing Matias Maccelli entered Winnipeg’s zone and saw a teammate streaking behind.

Quickly, Maccelli whipped the puck to ‘Yotes defenseman J.J. Moser who pinched forward and had a mini-breakaway.

As Moser went left to right, Jets goaltender Connor Hellebuyck slide the same way, but Moser went to his backhand and lifted the puck towards the left post to make it 1-0 Coyotes 5:31 into the first period.

Moments later, Arizona rookie Logan Cooley had a chance as there was a loose puck in front of Hellebuyck, but Cooley just missed wide.

Besides those two plays, not much happened and the offense from neither teams could string together another chance.

Both teams defended remarkably well as at the end of the period as Arizona only outshot the Jets 6-4.

Second Period

After a defensive deadlock, the second period was destined to provide some offense.

One line that has been the unsung heroes for the Coyotes as of late has been the fourth line: Alex Kerfoot, Liam O’Brien and Jack McBain.

Between the three, they have combined for 15 points in 11 contests.

From behind the net, Jets center Mark Scheifele tried to clear the puck, but it was intercepted by McBain.

Instantly, McBain would fire it at Hellebuyck before O’Brien rushed towards the puck and banged home the rebound 5:49 into the middle period to give Arizona a 2-0 lead.

Not long after, Winnipeg got back into the game.

Entering into the Coyotes zone, Jets forward Mason Appleton passed the puck right to Niederreiter who tapped it into the net at 7:31 in the second frame.

Then, Winnipeg defenseman Brenden Dillon went towards the Coyotes goal and tied the game 2-2 as he shot through ‘Yotes goaltender Karel Vejmelka’s legs with 9:55 remaining.

Not done yet, more chaos ensued as Crouse scored off of a rebound.

After Arizona left wing Michael Carcone’s initial shot hit Hellebuyck’s pad, it landed right on Crouse’s stick with 5:13 left on the clock on the power-play.

That goal would give Crouse four goals in three games.

Yet again, the Jets remained pesky as Niederreiter got his second of the period while they were on the man-advantage to knot the game up 3-3 at 17:01.

Following a slow first, both teams had an offensive explosion with 5 goals and 25 shots combined.

Third Period

Already with one tally, Dillon joined Niederreiter in doubling up.

From the point, Dillon wired a slap-shot off the post and in past the blocker of Vejmelka as Winnipeg took their first lead of the game, 4-3 3:23 into the final period of regulation.

A little under four minutes later, Niederreiter recorded a hat-trick as Dillon took another shot at Vejmelka that was saved.

However, it rolled down Vejmelka’s right arm and laid on the goal line before Niederreiter pounced on the puck to make it 5-3 Jets at 7:16.

Shockingly, Coyotes defenseman Troy Stecher then took a puck to the mouth and headed straight to the locker room.

Soon, Crouse went to lay a hit in the left corner, but jammed his elbow into the glass and went to the bench.

Surprisingly, after looking like he injured his right arm, Crouse came back later on and had a wide-open chance to score, but he whiffed with less than 4:00 left in the game.

Postgame Notes

As the game wore on, fatigue played a massive factor for the Coyotes were winning 2-0, but the Jets were fresher and stormed back to a 5-3 win.

Winnipeg outshot the Coyotes 27-25.

Niederreiter had three goals and Dillon scored twice and recorded an assist for three points each.

On the other hand, Crouse led Arizona with a goal and an assist.

In net, Hellebuyck stopped 23 out of 25 shots and Vejmelka saved 22 of the 27 he faced.

On the power-play, both teams went 1-for-3.

To this point, there is no further update on Stecher’s status.

Completing their three-game home stand, the ‘Yotes face the Seattle Kraken inside Mullett Arena on Nov. 7 at 6 p.m.

Nick Schmaltz scores twice in Coyotes 3-2 victory over Canadiens

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Alec Cipollini is a journalist covering the Arizona Coyotes, Cardinals and Phoenix Rising for Burn City Sports. You can follow him on his X account @AlecCipollini

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