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'Yotes Notes: Ekman-Larsson Scores Another Game-Winning Goal

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

GLENDALE -- Oliver Ekman-Larsson scored the lone goal on Sunday night as the Coyotes beat the Vancouver Canucks, 1-0, at Gila River Arena.

Skating from the high slot to the top of the left face-off circle during a power play, Ekman-Larsson called for the puck and Derek Stepan delivered it. Ekman-Larsson then ripped a one-timer that found its way over the blocker of Jacob Markstrom, Ekman-Larsson's buddy, at 15:07 of the second period.

"I was about to turn away, but (Stepan) made a great play there, and it was nice to get one on my good friend (Markstrom)," Ekman-Larsson said. 

The goal was Ekman-Larsson's 10th of the year. He's scored at least 10 goals in five consecutive seasons and in six of his eight NHL seasons. The tally also was Ekman-Larsson's 27th game-winning goal since breaking into the NHL in 2010-11. No other defenseman in the League has scored more game-winners during that time period.

"I would rather be battling for playoff spots than scoring goals," Ekman-Larsson said. "At the same time, it means that I'm doing something good out there. I've been getting some good looks lately and it's nice to see them go in."

Video: OEL: We've Been Playing Better Lately

Canucks forward Darren Archibald lost his stick while penalty killing just before the goal, and that helped create a clear path to the net for Ekman-Larsson's shot.

"That was a nice shot," Head Coach Rick Tocchet said. "…That was a big one for us. It was a shot, and that's why we have to have that shooter's mentality."

• Darcy Kuemper made 27 saves to earn his first shutout as a member of the Coyotes. His best save came at the game's final moment when he stretched to stop a shot by Daniel Sedin with his skate.

Video: VAN@ARI: D. Sedin nearly ties game in closing seconds

Kuemper, whom the Coyotes acquired last month in a trade with the Los Angeles Kings, played well in his fourth consecutive start and second in two days.

"It's nice to get these consecutive starts like this and kind of get into a rhythm out there," Kuemper said. "Every start I feel more and more comfortable with the team and how we play, and tonight was just a gutsy effort from everyone." 

Video: Kuemper: It's Been Great Lately

Kuemper is filling in for Antti Raanta, who has missed the past three games because of a lower-body injury he suffered during warmups at Edmonton on March 5.

"I like that in a back-to-back he comes in and plays that way," Tocchet said. "It was a very solid game. He looked big to me tonight. (He was) very solid and quiet in the net."

• With the win, the Coyotes improved to 10-3-2 in their past 15 games and 7-2-1 in their past 10 games at Gila River Arena.

"I liked the way we played in a back-to-back situation," Stepan said. "We did a really good job of providing energy for each other and when maybe we weren't our sharpest, then we did a really good job of supporting each other. That's what good teams do."

Alex Goligoski skated a team-high 21:39 and blocked two shots in his first game since missing three games because of the birth of his daughter last week. 

• Laurent Dauphin, who left Saturday's game at Colorado after being hit on the left knee by a shot, will be sidelined indefinitely.

Video: Tocchet: Nice Job with Our Structure

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