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'Yotes Notes: OEL, Vrbata Notch 3 Assists Each

Oliver Ekman-Larsson and Radim Vrbata helped Coyotes build 4-1 lead in win Friday's win over Jets

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

GLENDALE -- Defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson and forward Radim Vrbata each notched three assists for the Coyotes on Friday night to key a 4-3 win over the Winnipeg Jets at Gila River Arena.

Both players tied career-highs for assists in a game. Ekman-Larsson has now accomplished the three-helper feat three times; Vrbata has done it six times.

All six of their assists came in the first period as the Coyotes built a 4-1 lead within the first 20 minutes. The Jets rallied, but Arizona held on for its second win in a row after an NHL-mandated five-day break from games.

"It was nice of those pucks to go in and to play with a lead like that," Vrbata said. "At the end, it was just barely enough but we'll take it ... It's a big win for us ... This (break) refreshed everybody and I think everybody was excited to play again."

Video: Radim Vrbata discusses Coyotes' 4-3 win over Jets

Arizona's four first-period goals were the most scored by the Coyotes in a period since they scored four at Edmonton on Dec. 1, 2014.

"We came out flying in the first period, and I thought we moved the puck really well," Ekman-Larsson said. "We look like a really good team when we do that. Hopefully we can continue that."

• Rookie Brendan Perlini scored two goals for Arizona to raise his season total to six. It was the first multi-goal game of his brief NHL career. Perlini, whom Arizona drafted 12th overall in 2014, scored 14 goals playing for Tucson in the American Hockey League - including three in one game during the break - giving him 20 goals in 33 games as a pro.

"The more I keep playing in the League, the more I feel comfortable," Perlini said. "Hopefully I can keep progressing the way I want to. ... Going to Tucson (during the bye week) was great; a big confidence boost. I'm trying to just play the same style as I do down there up here."

Video: Brendan Perlini discusses Coyotes' 4-3 win over Jets

Head Coach Dave Tippett said Perlini's first goal, which came after Arizona fell behind 1-0, changed the game.

"When a play like that comes together it energizes everyone," Tippett said. "Not only did it energize us, it got us back in the game."

Video: Dave Tippett discusses Coyotes' 4-3 win over Jets

• Tied 1-1, center Peter Holland scored his first goal as a member of the Coyotes at 8:26 of the first period. Holland came to Arizona via a trade with Toronto on Dec. 9.

• Center Martin Hanzal returned to the lineup after a one-game absence because of injury. He played 20:20 and won 17 of 25 face-offs.

• Center Alexander Burmistrov finally made it to Arizona on Friday, but he did not play vs. the Jets.

Burmistrov, whom the Coyotes claimed off waivers on Jan. 2, spent eight days in Vancouver waiting to receive his work visa from the U.S. government. He arrived in Arizona at 2 a.m. on Friday and took part in the morning skate. However, Tippett kept him out of the lineup because the 25-year-old Russian hasn't skated in quite a while and he hasn't played in a game since Dec. 6. He most likely won't make his debut with the Coyotes until next week.

"I need to skate," Burmistrov said. "I haven't played a game in a month, probably more than a month, and haven't skated for a week. So we'll see how it goes."

• Injured forwards Jordan Martinook, Ryan White, and Max Domi again skated away from teammates on Friday morning, but none played vs. the Jets.

"Whitey's better," Tippett said. "He looks like he's making strides. Max is still weeks away (from returning), and Martinook is in the day-to-day range."

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