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‘Yotes Notes: Ekman-Larsson Keeps Scoring Goals

by Dave Vest / Arizona Coyotes

GLENDALE – After a slow start to the season, Oliver Ekman-Larsson continues to score goals for the Coyotes.

The defenseman/alternate captain notched two more on Saturday night in Arizona’s 4-3 overtime loss to the Los Angeles Kings to raise his season total to nine. That ranks fourth on the team behind Mikkel Boedker (11), Max Domi (10) and Anthony Duclair (10), and it ranks tied for seventh with Phil Housley for goals scored by a defenseman (64) in Coyotes/Jets history.

Ekman-Larsson scored both of his goals on the power play vs. the Kings, but he said being teamed with defensive partner Connor Murphy since Dec. 17 has served him well.

“I think Murph’s been helping me a lot back there,” said Ekman-Larsson, who leads the team with 101 shots. “He makes good plays with the puck and I can focus on the offense a little bit more. I’m feeling good about my game. I just have to keep going.”

Ekman-Larsson, who notched a career-high 23 goals last season, scored just one in his first 15 games this season. Since Nov. 12, however, he has scored eight in 19 games.

With Ekman-Larsson leading the way, Coyotes defensemen have notched 22 of the team’s 93 goals this season. That’s 23.7 percent. Only the Nashville Predators have gotten more goals (27) from defensemen than Arizona.

• Center Boyd Gordon left the game with 6:40 left in third period after absorbing a hard body check to the head by Kings defenseman Jake Muzzin. It took several moments for Gordon to get to his feet after the hit, but he did and then skated off the ice.

Muzzin received a match penalty for the hit.

Head Coach Dave Tippett spoke to reporters before getting updated on Gordon's injury.

"It looked pretty nasty," Tippett said.

Because of the nature of the injury, Gordon was not expected to travel with the team to Denver on Saturday night for Sunday's game at Colorado.

• Forward Mikkel Boedker notched three assists to reach 200 points in his NHL career in his 416th game.

• Goalie Louis Domingue stopped 28 of 32 shots and his record dropped to 2-1-1 after two wins in a row.

“We found a way to bounce back late in the third, get some big goals,” Domingue said. “That was a huge point.”

Tippett said Anders Lindback would start Sunday’s game at Colorado because of the back-to-back nature of the games.

• Defenseman Zbynek Michalek returned to the lineup after missing four games because of a lower-body injury.

The Coyotes played seven defensemen in the game to help Michalek ease back into the lineup. He logged just 12:32 of ice time, delivered two hits and blocked two shots.

• Center Martin Hanzal missed his ninth game of the season because of a lower-body injury. He is expected to miss his 10th game of the season on Sunday when the Coyotes play at Colorado.

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