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'Yotes Notes: Arizona Couldn't Keep Up With Vegas

The Coyotes quickly fell behind 3-0 to a team playing for its city and failed to recover

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

LAS VEGAS -- The Coyotes talked before Tuesday's game about how they would have to match the passion with which the Vegas Golden Knights were going to play in their inaugural home game at T-Mobile Arena.

It turned out to be just talk. 

Vegas jumped to a 3-0 lead within the first seven minutes of the game and never looked back en route to a 5-2 win in front of a sellout crowd and a national television audience. 

"We're professionals, we've got to be ready for that," Tobias Rieder said. "We knew it was going to be loud, we knew they were going to come out flying, but we just didn't match it. We lost battles all over the ice, and you can't win a game if you lose battles everywhere."

With the loss, the Coyotes dropped to 0-2-1 after three games.

"They wanted it more," Rieder said. "They won every battle, and we didn't. That's how pucks end up in your net. If you don't win battles in the offensive zone, if you don't win battles in the defensive zone, at some point it's going to end up in your net. They did a good job of that in the first period."

Video: Tobias Rieder Postgame Comments

Head Coach Rick Tocchet said the Coyotes appeared overmatched physically.

"Listen, it's a team thing," Tocchet said. "I've got to take responsibility. I don't know if we're in shape, to be honest with you, and I'll take full responsibility. So, we're going to have to get back to the grindstone here." 

Video: Rick Tocchet Postgame Comments

• Tocchet pulled goalie Antti Raanta and replaced him with Louis Domingue after Vegas scored its third goal at 6:15 of the first period.

"He had such a great effort the (game) before," Tocchet said. "I talked to him, he wished he had a couple (goals) back. But you know, when it was 2-0, you still want to bail the guy out a little bit. He'll bounce back."

Raanta, who stopped just two of five shots, said the Coyotes were a team in the wrong place at the wrong time. 

"Of course it was a special night for Vegas," Raanta said. "It was great to be a part of it until five minutes into it and it was 3-0 and the whole building was going crazy and their team was going crazy. It was a tough start, but we need to learn from it ... Sometimes there are bad days and you just need to get over those. You go home, get some rest and tomorrow you go to practice and work as hard as you can and bring yourself next time to be ready for the game. That's for me and for the whole team. We need to start working hard in practice so we can bring that hard work into the game."

Video: Antti Raanta Postgame Comments

• Trailing 4-0, Rieder scored his second goal of the season at 12:37 of the first period. It was a nifty double deflection past Golden Knights goalie Marc-Andre Fleury. Niklas Hjalmarsson assisted on the goal for his first point with the Coyotes.

Video: ARI@VGK: Rieder redirects shot past Fleury

Brendan Perlini suffered an upper-body injury in the first period and did not play after the first intermission. No update on his condition was given immediately after the game.

• Mario Kempe, whom Arizona recalled from the American Hockey League on Monday, made his NHL debut and skated 12:01. The 29-year-old forward took two shots on goal, blocked two shots and delivered two hits. 

• The Coyotes won just 22 of 69 face-offs (32 percent).

Jordan Martinook did not play because of a lower-body injury he suffered in Saturday's game vs. Vegas. He is considered day-to-day.

Brad Richardson wore the rotating third 'A' for the first time this season. Oliver Ekman-Larsson and Hjalmarsson are wearing the 'A' on a permanent basis this season.

• The Golden Knights were introduced to their fans one-by-one during a pre-game ceremony celebrating the team's first home game. Each Vegas player was paired with a hero from the mass shooting tragedy in this city on Oct. 1. The Coyotes then took the ice and stood behind the Golden Knights as they lined their their blue line, in support of the "Vegas Strong" theme of the evening. The ceremony featured 58 seconds of silence, one for each victim of the tragedy.

"I thought that the Vegas organization did a great job (with the ceremony)," Tocchet said. "The fans were incredible. It was a terrific thing to be a part of as a spectator, but also for us." 

Video: ARI Recap: Yotes dig early hole in loss to Vegas

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