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Ekman-Larsson Injured in Preseason Loss to Sharks

Arizona led 3-0, but fell to San Jose in a shootout on Saturday

by Dave Vest @davest4yotes / Coyotes Sr. Director of News Content

GLENDALE -- The Coyotes jumped to a 3-0 lead, but lost a preseason game to the San Jose Sharks, 5-4 in a shootout, on Saturday night at Gila River Arena.

Arizona also lost star defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson to a lower-body injury early in the overtime period. Ekman-Larsson and Sharks forward Mikkel Boedker, who are good friends, got tangled while skating and Ekman-Larsson awkwardly dropped to the ice. He slowly got up and then skated gingerly to Arizona's dressing room with help from teammate Alex Goligoski and a member of the training staff.

Ekman-Larsson's injury will be further evaluated on Sunday.

"It's too early (to know)," Head Coach Rick Tocchet said when asked the severity of Ekman-Larsson's injury. "It's a guessing thing until they see him tomorrow."

Nick Cousins scored two goals, Derek Stepan chipped in a goal and an assist, and Clayton Keller and Christian Dvorak notched two assists apiece for the Coyotes (1-1-1), who are halfway through their exhibition schedule.

Goalie Antti Raanta stopped 28 of 32 shots for the Coyotes over the first two periods. Marek Langhamer played the third period, overtime and the shootout, which San Jose won 2-1. 

Luke Schenn scored a goal at 9:15 of the first period to give the Coyotes a 3-0 lead, but defensive lapses allowed San Jose to get back into the game. Tim Heed scored a goal in the fifth round of the shootout to give the Sharks the victory.

"The 'D' zone coverage is not really good," Tocchet said. "We all know that. We've got a lot of work to do. It's early in camp and some guys haven't played and have had four months off and are a little bit rusty. I'll give them that, but we've got a lot of work to do. Our 'D' zone coverage was really, really bad tonight."

Stepan, who centered Arizona's top line with wingers Max Domi and Keller, said the preseason isn't about wins and losses, per se. 

"It's about building our team," Stepan said. "It was a good start. There's definitely worse starts out there than what we did tonight."

Keller, who is looking to earn a spot on the roster, skated 20:38 and enjoyed playing with Stepan and Domi.

"Obviously I'm playing with two unbelievable players, so it's pretty easy for me," Keller said. "I think just after the first couple shifts you get a little bit of chemistry and you can go from there …Those guys really helped me out."

Ekman-Larsson, Stepan and Niklas Hjalmarsson all wore an 'A' on their sweater for the game, Arizona's first at home without a new captain having been named. 

 

 

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