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‘Yotes Notes: Defense Improves but Offense Stalls vs. Canucks

by Dave Vest / Arizona Coyotes

GLENDALE – The Coyotes entered Wednesday’s game wanting to improve defensively and to end a stretch of four games in which they allowed five goals or more in each. They accomplished those missions, but they scored just once and lost, 2-1, to the Vancouver Canucks at Gila River Arena.

“There was definitely improvement,” captain Shane Doan said. “We've got to build on that… We played the way we wanted to play for the most part. We’ve just got to find a way to score.”

Head Coach Dave Tippett thought his team’s execution was just average, and with 29 games left he sees the margin for error shrinking.

“We’re letting points slip away,” Tippett said. “We know exactly what we have to do, and the points we have to gain. It hasn’t been very fruitful lately.”

The Coyotes out-shot the Canucks 34-26. Center Martin Hanzal scored Arizona’s lone goal on a power play at 2:38 of the second period.

“I don't think we went to the net really hard like we have to go at this time of the year,” Hanzal said. “That's how you score the goals.”

He added, “It’s hard when you’re losing; it’s hard to find a way to win. That’s going to show the character of the group. We have to get together and start winning. We’ve got another two divisional games coming up, so it’s going to be really big. If we want to be a playoff team we have to start winning against the divisional teams.”

• Goalie Louis Domingue made perhaps his best save of the season when he robbed Vancouver’s Henrik Sedin of a back-door goal at 15:08 of the first period.

Domingue dived to his right and blocked Sedin’s shot with his glove while his stick went flying from his other hand. He finished with 24 saves.

• Center Kyle Chipchura nearly scored a game-tying goal with 3:43 left in the third period. His no-look, back-handed shot got past Canucks goalie Ryan Miller, but Vancouver defenseman Alex Biega got his stick on the puck and kept it from crossing the goal line.

• Defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson took nine shots on goal, tying his career-high for shots in a game.

• The Coyotes dressed seven defensemen for the game and just 11 forwards. Only defenseman Jarred Tinordi was not in the lineup.

• Center Tyler Gaudet played his first game since being recalled from the American Hockey League on Tuesday. Gaudet logged 8:42 of ice time, took one shot on goal and lost all three face-offs he took in his sixth game of the season for Arizona, and his eighth overall in the NHL.

• Defenseman Klas Dahlbeck ripped a shot from the blue line past Miller at 14:53 of the first period to pull Arizona into a 1-1 tie. The Canucks challenged the goal citing off-side on Hanzal.

Here’s the official ruling from the NHL:

“At 14:53 of the first period in the Canucks/Coyotes game, Vancouver requested a Coach’s Challenge to review whether Arizona was off-side before the puck entered the Vancouver net.

After reviewing all available replays and consulting with NHL Hockey Operations staff, the Linesman determined that Arizona's Martin Hanzal was off-side prior to the goal. According to Rule 78.7, “The standard for overturning the call in the event of a ‘GOAL’ call on the ice is that the Linesman, after reviewing any and all available replays and consulting with the Toronto Video Room, determines that one or more Players on the attacking team preceded the puck into the attacking zone prior to the goal being scored and that, as a result, the play should have been stopped for an “Off-side” infraction; where this standard is met, the goal will be disallowed.

Therefore the original call is overturned – no goal Arizona Coyotes.”

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