GLENDALE – Max Domi was eight months and 12 days old when Shane Doan scored his first goal for the Coyotes/Jets franchise on Nov. 14, 1995. On Thursday night against the new Winnipeg Jets - of all teams - the 20-year-old rookie notched the key assist on Doan’s record-setting 380th goal for the franchise.
Domi expected Doan, 39, to pass him the puck as the two of them skated in on Winnipeg Jets defenseman Dustin Byfuglien in the first period. Before he even received the pass, Domi said he knew he was going to send the puck right back to Doan. He did and Doan bumped it into Winnipeg’s net to pass Dale Hawerchuk atop the team’s all-time goal scorer’s list.
“(Jordan Martinook) had a great change, so I got on the ice and it was a two-on-one,” Domi said. “(Doan) had the puck and made a great (pass) to me and I knew I was going to give it back to him. I’m not really a goal scorer. He has six million goals anyway so I figured here’s one more.”
Domi is pleased to be linked to Doan’s historic moment.
“It’s a storybook ending,” Domi said. “He breaks the record against his old team. There isn’t a guy that deserves it more. He works so hard and he’s our leader on and off the ice and he’s a guy I’ve looked up to for a long time. To be a part of that was pretty special.”
• With an assist on Viktor Tikhonov’s goal, defenseman Michael Stone extended his point streak to a career-high four games. Stone has notched one goal and four assists during that stretch.
• Defenseman Connor Murphy also assisted on Tikhonov’s goal to set a career-high for points in a season with nine (four goals, five assists).
• Oliver Ekman-Larsson scored the game-winning goal at 12:35 of the third period during a power play. With that goal, Ekman-Larsson tied Keith Yandle (65) for sixth place for goals scored by a defenseman in franchise history.
Ekman-Larsson’s goal also was the 26th goal scored by a Coyotes defenseman this season.
“We’re pushing that hard because we need offense from everybody,” Head Coach Dave Tippett said. “There’s some things we’re trying to do to get them active and it has ended up in results for us.”
In addition to Ekman-Larsson’s 10 goals, the Coyotes have gotten goals from Murphy (four), Nicklas Grossmann (three), Stone (three), Zbynek Michalek (two), Stefan Elliott (two) and Klas Dahlbeck (two).
“We need defensemen that are two-way players,” Tippett said. “Just because they play the position that’s called ‘defense’ doesn’t mean they have to be on defense all the time. They’ve got to help the offense also, just like we have the forwards try to help the defense.”
• Center Martin Hanzal missed his 11th game of the season because of a lower-body injury but he skated with teammates on Thursday morning.
“He had a good skate today,” Tippett said. “That’s a positive.”
Meanwhile, center Boyd Gordon (upper-body injury) worked out off the ice. The team leaves for a three-game road trip on Friday and it’s likely both centers will go on the trip.
• After making his NHL debut on Tuesday, center Laurent Dauphin was a healthy scratch on Thursday because the Coyotes opted for a bigger team to combat the Jets. John Scott took Dauphin’s spot in the lineup.
Tippett liked what he saw from Dauphin on Tuesday and considers him a key prospect in the system.
“He knows he still has to continue to evolve as a player … but where he’s come from the start of training camp to now, boy he’s fast-tracking,” Tippett said. “That’s a good sign for us - a real good sign.”