COLUMBUS – Playing in the NHL All-Star Game for the first time in his career on Sunday, Coyotes defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson notched an assist for Team Foligno in a 17-12 loss to Team Toews at a sold-out Nationwide Arena.
|Photo by Getty Images. |
Ekman-Larsson, 23, was credited with the secondary assist on teammate Bobby Ryan’s goal at 8:23 of the third period. The goal pulled Team Foligno to within 14-10 at the time it was scored.
“It was a good experience to come out here and be around tough players,” Ekman-Larsson said. “Everybody was so nice and it was just fun to be around everybody.”
Team Foligno Head Coach Darryl Sutter paired Ekman-Larsson with defenseman Dustin Byfuglien of the Winnipeg Jets.
Ekman-Larsson played 16:56 and was minus-5 in the game, which set a record for most goals scored in an NHL All-Star Game (29).
|Oliver Ekman-Larsson and Bobby Ryan. Photo by Getty Images. |
“It was fun,” Ekman-Larsson said. “(Minus-5) is not a very good stat but I had a good time and I just tried to have fun out there and make some good passes. It’s hard to play (defense) in these kind of games but I think everybody put a good show together.”
Before coming to this game, Ekman-Larsson said he hoped to make some new friends at this event.
“I’m a quiet guy,” Ekman-Larsson said. “I probably could have done a little bit better (meeting people) but everybody here’s so nice. I was just happy to be around them.”
Ekman-Larsson will now rejoin the Coyotes as they begin a five-game road trip that starts Tuesday night in Philadelphia. He returns to the team as its second-leading goal scorer with 12.
EDITOR'S NOTE: Click HERE to watch Ekman-Larsson's assist.