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by Staff Writer / Arizona Coyotes
Coyotes forward Steven Reinprecht returned to the lineup Thursday night and contributed immediately.

Reinprecht, who sat out two games as a healthy scratch for the first time in his career, set up goals by Shane Doan and Kevin Porter in Phoenix's 4-1 victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins at Arena.

“It was the first time and hopefully it’s the last,” Reinprecht said after Friday's practice, regarding being benched. “It was frustrating, but it’s nice to be able to get back in and contribute.”

Head Coach Wayne Gretzky was impressed with Reinprecht’s return.

“I thought he had an excellent game,” Gretzky said. “He was one of the hardest working guys when he wasn’t in the lineup.”

Reinprecht will get the opportunity to contribute again as Gretzky said he would keep the same lineup for Saturday’s game against the Minnesota Wild at Arena.


The Coyotes improved to 3-0-0 this season when having the lead after two periods, an area where they were strong last season as well (27-4-2).

“I’m really impressed by the fact that … we haven’t changed our style,” Gretzky said. “To be successful, that’s a key component. You play the same way whether you are down 1-0 or up 1-0. I’m very impressed by the team that they have made a commitment.”


Rookie Viktor Tikhonov earned his first point in the NHL when he assisted on Doan’s empty-net goal near the end of Thursday's victory.

“It was good getting that first point, getting the wheels rolling, especially to Doaner,” Tikhonov said. “I feel a lot better now that it’s out of the way.”


Doan became the franchise’s all-time leader in game-winning goals (41) on Thursday, taking sole possession from former captain Keith Tkachuk, with whom he was tied entering the season.

Defenseman Derek Morris missed practice on Friday because of sore legs. Gretzky said it was just a day off and Morris would play Saturday.


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