GLENDALE – Coyotes captain Shane Doan was scratched from Wednesday’s home game against the Anaheim Ducks because of a lower-body injury. He is considered day-to-day.
“After the (morning) skate today there was hope that he would play, but when we got to the rink they told me it was best that he doesn’t,” Head Coach Dave Tippett said. “So we will give him a day off tomorrow and he’ll skate maybe, hopefully Friday morning and we will see where he is at.”
Doan, 39, is fast approaching a major milestone. With 374 goals he needs just five more to tie Dale Hawerchuk for the most goals scored in franchise history. Doan has scored six goals this season, including three in his past five games.
Forward Dustin Jeffrey, whom the Coyotes recalled from the American Hockey League on Tuesday, replaced Doan in the lineup. It was Jeffrey’s second game with the Coyotes; he played 12:46 and took two shots on goal.
• With Doan out of the lineup, center Antoine Vermette wore an ‘A’ on his sweater and joined Martin Hanzal and Oliver Ekman-Larsson as alternate captains.
Vermette scored his first goal of the season in the second period, and his first goal as a member of the Coyotes since Valentine’s Day of last season against the New York Rangers. He added an empty-net goal in the the third period.
“You always want to contribute in different ways and certainly (putting) the puck in the net once in a while that’s nice to do,” Vermette said.
Vermette, 33, said experience has taught him not to obsess over long streaks of not scoring goals.
“I think when you’re younger you are maybe a little more sensitive to those stretches, but you know if you keep putting the work in eventually it’s going to come,” Vermette said.
Tippett liked what he saw from Vermette.
“That was probably the best game he’s played all year and not just because of the goals,” Tippett said. “He was really engaged in the game. Hopefully that’s a good step for him.”
• Rookie Anthony Duclair extended his point streak to a career-high five games by scoring his eighth goal of the season early in the third period.
“I’m feeling great and getting confidence from all the guys helping me out,” Duclair said. “I’m happy with my game all around. I think I’m getting better that way.”
Five of Duclair’s goals have come vs. Anaheim in three games. Asked to explain, Duclair said: “I’m just getting lucky, I guess, against them.”
• Goalie Mike Smith returned to the lineup after not dressing for Saturday’s game at Winnipeg because of a minor lower-body injury. He made 29 saves in the team’s 4-2 win over the Ducks.
Before the game, Smith said the injury might be something that will linger.
“I feel pretty good where I’m at,” Smith said. “I don’t think I can make it any worse. I think it’s just something that I may have to deal with … It can be fine. It can be something that is just there, and I have to deal with. But it’s definitely something that’s not going to get a lot worse by me playing. So I think it’s more of a mindset than anything.”
• Defenseman Nicklas Grossmann returned to the lineup after missing seven games because of a lower-body injury.
• Defenseman Zbynek Michalek took sole possession of eighth place on the franchise’s list of games played with 559. Only two other defensemen – Teppo Numminen and Randy Carlyle have played more games than Michalek, an undrafted player who debuted with the Coyotes on Oct. 5, 2005.
• With Wednesday’s win, Tippett is just one victory shy of 500 as an NHL head coach.
• Forward Steve Downie, who has missed the past seven games because of an upper-body injury, skated with teammates for the first time since being injured on Wednesday.