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'Yotes Notes: Ekman-Larsson Nets Two Goals In Loss

Defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson scored twice in third period vs. Devils

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

Defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson scored twice for the Coyotes in a 5-3 loss to the New Jersey Devils on Tuesday night at the Prudential Center.

Trailing 3-1, Ekman-Larsson netted two goals 6:02 apart to pull Arizona into a 3-3 tie and create some serious drama. But the Devils scored a power-play goal with 2:01 to play on goalie Justin Peters and then added an empty-netter to secure the win and send the Coyotes to a fifth straight loss.

Video: Oliver Ekman-Larsson discusses Coyotes' loss to NJD

"It's really frustrating," Ekman-Larsson said. "I thought we started the game pretty good in the first and then they came out hard in the second. It starts with that. We've got to be better in the second and play a good game over 60 minutes … I think it's huge for this group to battle back in the game, but at the same time it's small details that we have to work on." 

Ekman-Larsson notched his first goal via a slap shot from the top of the left circle at 7:51 of the third period. He scored his second goal with a wrist shot though traffic during a power play at 13:53. The second goal was his fourth of the season and his 80th career goal, and it tied Randy Carlyle for fourth place on the franchise's all-time list for goals by a defenseman.

• Head Coach Dave Tippett did not agree with the penalty called on defenseman Connor Murphy at 17:20 of the third period. Tippett thought New Jersey should have been called for high-sticking Martin Hanzal instead. 

New Jersey's Travis Zajac scored a power-play goal after the call on Murphy and it turned out to be the game-winning goal.

"It was a terrible call," Tippett said. "If they're going to call Murphy for cross-checking when he had one hand on his stick, then they probably should have called the two-hander to Hanzal's face … I just can't even believe that happened at that point in the game. I understand if you want to make the call on Murphy (but) make the one on Hanzal. The one on Murphy … that's a poor, poor call."

Video: Dave Tippett discusses team's 5-3 loss to New Jersey

• Forward Jamie McGinn played his first game for the Coyotes after missing the first five games because of an upper-body injury. 

McGinn logged 14:22, took two shots, delivered one hit, blocked three shots and assisted on Jordan Martinook's goal at 7:04 of the first period.

"I never like watching hockey games," McGinn said. "I want to be a part of it. I'm paid to play, and I want to be a big part of this team. (The) first five games were pretty frustrating not being on the road trip. I's not fun being at home by yourself. I enjoy being around the guys so it's good to be back."

Tippett liked McGinn's effort and output.

"He's a good pro," Tippett said. "He brought lots of life on the bench. He's a good addition to our team."

• Peters made his first start in goal as a member of the Coyotes and stopped 30 of 34 shots faced. 

After the game, he bemoaned allowing Zajac's power-play goal.

"It's a save I've got to come up with," Peters said. "It was a crucial time in the game … I think nine times out of 10 I'll stop that one."

The start was Peters' first start in the NHL since Feb. 15, 2015 as a member of the Washington Capitals.

"It was a lot of fun to be out there again and to play in the NHL," Peters said. "It's such a fine line between winning and losing. Unfortunately, you play like that, you lose." 

Video: Justin Peters discusses Coyotes' 5-3 loss to Devils

Tippett was disappointed Peters didn't make a clutch save when needed.

"That's a stoppable puck," Tippett said. "We have good runs in the game where we're doing what we're capable of doing, and then we have times where we don't execute very well or don't get the save that we need. The reality is we've just got to keep pounding through it. We haven't put 60 minutes together yet, and that should be our goal." 

 

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