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'Yotes Notes: Hill 'Comfortable' in NHL Debut

Rookie Adin Hill stopped 31 of 33 shots vs. Dallas on Tuesday in his first League game

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

DALLAS -- Coyotes goalie Adin Hill stopped 31 of 33 shots vs. Dallas on Tuesday night in his NHL debut at American Airlines Center.

Despite Hill's stellar play, the Stars beat Arizona 3-1.

"I felt comfortable out there," Hill said. "I thought I played a good game and I thought our team played a good game, we just came up a little short at the end. We've just got to to keep battling and fighting for that first win. Hopefully we can do it on Thursday."

Video: Hill talks about his first NHL start against Dallas

Arizona and Dallas will square off again on Thursday night at Gila River Arena in Glendale, in the second game of a home-and-home series.

Hill allowed goals on the third and 20th shots he faced. Other than that, he was perfect. His key moment came late in the second period when he thwarted a breakaway by Jason Spezza with a pair of nifty pad saves.

"I thought Adin Hill did a nice job for us," Head Coach Rick Tocchet said. "He was solid in the net ... He just looked big, he moved really well side to side. I don't think the game was too big for him. I thought he was very calm and that's nice to see for his first start in the NHL."

Hill played his first game in front of his parents, his brother, his sister, his girlfriend and his goalie coach from his youth hockey days. All flew to Dallas to watch him realize a dream.

Tweet from @ArizonaCoyotes: It's not every day a dream comes true. @Adin_Hill's family and friends flew to Dallas to cheer him on. pic.twitter.com/nq0l5IaPsk

Hill said he felt calm and confident in net, despite the hoopla surrounding his debut.

"When the puck was dropped I was just focusing on the game," Hill said. "All that (anticipation) went out the window. Before the game and throughout the day, you're thinking of it, for sure. It comes and goes. When the puck drops you're just thinking about the game."

Tocchet liked the way Hill kept the Coyotes in the game until deep into the third period.

"We were still in the game," Tocchet said. "It was 2-1 and we were just looking for someone to make a play and score a goal. The guys worked hard, but we just couldn't score ... We had a couple of glorious chances, couple of guys had an empty net to tie it up. We've just got to keep punching away."

Video: Tocchet talks to the media following another loss

• Oliver Ekman-Larsson reached a milestone by skating in his 500th NHL game. He is one of six defensemen to play 500 games for the Coyotes/Jets franchise.

Zac Rinaldo played his first game for the Coyotes following a five-game suspension handed down by the League from the 2015-16 season.

Rinaldo skated 11:53 and delivered six hits, which led both teams.

Jason Demers scored Arizona's lone goal at 14:40 of the second period, his first with the Coyotes and the 38th of the defenseman's NHL career.

"We've got to start bearing down," Demers said. "Where we're at we can't play scared. We have to play the way we played in the third and parts of the second. We've got to mature a bit and play a full 60 (minutes). It's frsutrating that we can't put a whole game together and see flashes of it."

Video: Demers: 'Just Missing that Little Inch'

•  Max Domi and Anthony Duclair assisted on the goal by Demers to extend their point streaks vs. Dallas to six games each.

• Alex Goligoski, who played 385 games for the Stars, wore the rotating third 'A.' Ekman-Larsson and Niklas Hjalmarsson are wearing the 'A' on a permanent basis this season.

• With the loss, the Coyotes dropped to 0-7-3 in their past 10 games at Dallas. Arizona last won a game at American Airlines Center on Feb. 7, 2012.

 

 

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