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On This Day [March 24]: OEL For The Win

Oliver Ekman-Larsson sets NHL single-season record for game-winning goals by a defenseman on March 24, 2016

by Alex Kinkopf @AEKinkopf / Arizona Coyotes

Oliver Ekman-Larsson netted the go-ahead goal in the Coyotes' 3-1 victory over the Dallas Stars on March 24, 2016.

It stood as his eighth game-winning goal of the 2015-16 campaign, setting the NHL single-season record for defensemen - which still stands today.

Ekman-Larsson tied the league record the year prior in 2014-15 when he scored seven game-winning goals. 

At the time, only five other defensemen in history had notched seven winning goals in a single season: Tim Horton (Toronto, 1963-64), Al MacInnis (St. Louis, 1999-00), Ray Bourque (Boston, 1992-93), Derek Morris (Colorado, 2002-03), and Dion Phaneuf (Calgary, 2005-06).

And a year after matching that esteemed group, he surpassed them.

Less than a minute into the second period of Arizona's March 24, 2016 win over Dallas, Ekman-Larsson's wrister from the left half-wall, which was originally credited to Martin Hanzal, ricocheted off the skate of then-Stars defenseman Alex Goligoski and into the net to give the Coyotes a lead they would not relinquish, breaking the record - his eighth game-winner.

Video: DAL@ARI: Ekman-Larsson's shot finds a way in for lead

That was also his 20th goal of the season.

With that marker, Ekman-Larsson became the second defenseman in franchise history to post consecutive 20-plus goal seasons, joining current assistant coach Phil Housley, who did so as a member of the Winnipeg Jets in 1990-91 and 1991-92. It was just the sixth time a defenseman had scored 20 or more goals in franchise history.

The Coyotes' captain ranks first in franchise history among defensemen with 31 game-winning goals and is tied for fourth among all players - behind only Doug Small (31), Jeremy Roenick (33), Keith Tkachuk (40), and Shane Doan (69).

Lead Photo Credit: Norm Hall - NHLI via Getty Images // Footer Photo Credit: Norm Hall - NHLI via Getty Images

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