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‘Yotes Notes: Domi is Dandy in Debut

by Dave Vest / Arizona Coyotes
Max Domi notched two points, including his first NHL goal, in his much-anticipated NHL debut on Friday night as Arizona opened the 2015-16 season with a 4-1 win over Los Angeles at the Staples Center.

With his father, ex-NHLer Tie Domi, and other family members watching in a suite above the ice, Domi logged 14:22 and was named the No. 2 Star of the Game behind goalie Mike Smith, who stopped 40 of 41 shots.

“It was a lot of fun,” Domi said. “It was tough to wipe the smile off my face the whole 60 minutes, but it was definitely nice to get the win and start the season off the right way. I just felt really happy. I was really excited to be out there skating with these guys. It was pretty special, and my whole family was here, so to be able to share that with them was even better.”

Domi produced his first NHL point with an assist at 19:12 of the first period.

Just as Arizona’s first power play of the season was nearing an end, Domi slid a pass from the wall to Oliver Ekman-Larsson between the circles and Ekman-Larsson one-timed the puck past Kings goalie Jonathan Quick for a 2-0 lead.

That was just the beginning for Domi, whom the Coyotes selected with the 12th overall pick in the 2013 NHL Draft.

Fresh on the ice after a line change, Domi corralled a loose puck and snapped a shot over Quick’s glove at 4:43 of the second period for his first NHL goal and a 3-0 lead for Arizona.

Domi is the eighth player in franchise history to record a multi-point game in his NHL debut and the first since Shane Doan did it with two assists on Oct. 7, 1995.


The Coyotes, of course, did not thrust Domi into the NHL right away. In 2013 and 2014, he was sent back to junior hockey after not earning a spot on the team out of training camp. Last season, he notched 32 goals and 70 points in 57 games with London of the Ontario Hockey League. He also helped Canada capture the gold medal at the 2015 IIHF World Junior Championship and was named the Top Forward of that prestigious tournament.

The Domis, Tie and Max, on Friday night became just the second father-son combination to play for the Coyotes/Jets franchise. Bobby and Brett Hull were the first.

“I’m really proud of him,” Tie Domi told FOX Sports Arizona during the game. “He’s sacrificed so much and he’s worked so hard to get here. He looks pretty comfortable out there. He’s been a winner and a competitor his whole life and I don’t see him changing that. It’s nice to see him do it at the highest level.”

► Defenseman Zbynek Michalek scored the first goal of the season for the Coyotes at the 2:00 mark of the first period. It was the second-fastest goal to start a season in franchise history and the fastest in Coyotes history.

Per the Elias Sports Bureau, the fastest goal to start a season in Coyotes/Jets history was scored by Scott Arniel at 0:33 on Oct. 5, 1983.

► Forward Anthony Duclair, making his Coyotes debut, notched the primary assist on Tobias Rider’s goal in the second period for his first point with Arizona.

► Like Domi, Rieder notched one goal and one assist in the season opener. Center Martin Hanzal chipped in two assists.

► Center Antoine Vermette played in his 476th consecutive regular-season game. That is the second longest active streak in the NHL.

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