Arizona Coyotes forward Clayton Keller already had the opportunity to face Alex Ovechkin during his rookie season. The meeting between the two didn’t go in favor of the Coyotes rookie as Ovechkin and the Washington Capitals stole two points in overtime. It was the first time that they met on ice but the two encountered each other many years ago.
Before the Coyotes welcomed Washington into Gila River Arena on Dec. 22, the Coyotes social media account shared a photo of a young Keller posing with an even younger Ovechkin in Moscow, Russia.
Pictured: a future @NHL star, and Alexander Ovechkin in Moscow, Russia.
They’ll meet again tonight. pic.twitter.com/v1sUlJ8LsD
— Arizona Coyotes (@ArizonaCoyotes) December 22, 2017
On Friday, Keller had another opportunity to face the superstar he met as a child. It went in the rookie’s favor this time around.
T.J. Oshie opened the scoring for Washington during the second period. Coyotes forward Christian Dvorak broke even in the third period but the Capitals took the lead nearly three minutes later. A late goal by Arizona created an opportunity for Keller.
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While in overtime, Keller scored with 26 seconds left in overtime to give Arizona the 3-2 win over the Capitals. Max Domi earned an assist on the play as he found Keller, who was perfectly in front of the net, to snap Arizona’s seven-game losing streak.
NOW THAT IS SOMETHING WORTH CELEBRATING. pic.twitter.com/Yyvpn9GfDC
— Arizona Coyotes (@ArizonaCoyotes) December 23, 2017
Keller has 28 points this season — 13 goals and 15 assists — to maintain his place in the Calder Trophy race. He is third in rookie scoring following New York’s Mathew Barzal and Vancouver’s Brock Boeser.