AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin
Sunday, Jan. 22, 2023 | 7:40 p.m.
Phil Kessel scored in his return to Arizona, but that was all the Golden Knights could muster on offense in a 4-1 loss to the Arizona Coyotes at Mullett Arena on Sunday.
Kessel scored a power-play goal at 9:03 of the second period to cut into a 2-0 Arizona lead. Playing in his 1,030th consecutive NHL game, Kessel spent the past three years with the Coyotes before signing a one-year deal with Vegas this offseason.
Logan Thompson made 20 saves as he made both starts in this weekend back-to-back. The Golden Knights were coming off a 6-2 win over the Washington Capitals at home on Saturday, but could not solve Arizona goalie Karel Vejmelka this time around. He made 34 saves.
Arizona forward Clayton Keller recorded a hat trick, the second of his career, to hand the Golden Knights (29-17-2) their fifth loss in the last seven games.
All the progress the Golden Knights made 24 hours prior went away in the home of the Arizona State University hockey team. Considering the Coyotes were also playing the second night of a back-to-back with travel — they lost 4-0 to the Dallas Stars inside American Airlines Center on Saturday — the excuse of longer travel would’ve applied more to the home team.
But the Golden Knights have just three games remaining before the All-Star break, and it’s not enough time to put forth some positivity before getting a week off.
Reinforcements may be on the way with Shea Theodore and Brett Howden traveling with the Golden Knights and possibly returning to the lineup this week. Theodore (lower body) skated with the team in Tempe on Sunday, while Howden was a non-contact participant Saturday.
Vegas will likely take anything at this rate.
This is a developing story. Check back later for updates.