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'Yotes Notes: Schenn Scores First Goal of Season

Defenseman Luke Schenn chipped in goal in win over Vancouver

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

GLENDALE -- Defenseman Luke Schenn scored his first goal of the season on Thursday night as part of Arizona's 4-3 win over Vancouver at Gila River Arena.

"I'm not expected to go out there and score 20, but it would be nice to get one earlier than this," Schenn said. "Better late than never ... I don't have to go into next season thinking that I didn't score last year."

Schenn scored his goal at 6:00 of the first period when he slapped a rebound past Vancouver goalie Ryan Miller.

Video: VAN@ARI: Schenn cleans up rebound for early tally

"You watch all the goals, goal scorers go to the blue paint," Schenn quipped. "I had to sneak down there. No one saw me. I guess they thought I wasn't dangerous."

Schenn, of course, is a physical, stay-at home defenseman. He leads the Coyotes and ranks third in the NHL with 286 hits. Still, he was getting frustrated by being stuck on 28 NHL goals since Feb. 23, 2016.

"I feel like I've had a few shots and a few opportunities, but I just couldn't get one," Schenn said. "It was funny. I mentioned to (Dave Tippett) in the pre-game skate in Dallas the other day, I said, 'Tip, if it gets to Game 82, I might have to go net front on the power play here. I can't go a whole season without one.' He was having a little laugh. Thankfully it's not coming to that."

Tippett was pleased Schenn scored.

"He was very aware that he hadn't scored yet this year," Tippett said. "When I looked up and saw No. 2 right at the top of the crease, I could understand why."

Radim Vrbata scored twice to reach the 20-goal mark for the sixth time in his NHL career.

"(I'll) take it," Vrbata said. "It's something I was hoping I could get when I got that 17th, 18th goal. Good thing I got it tonight and I don't have to think about it, press too much in the last game."

Tippett liked what he saw from Vrbata, who missed Tuesday's game at Dallas because of a lower-body injury.

"He's just a real consummate pro," Tippett said. "He's just played very well for us. A game like this tonight, playing against his old team, I'm sure he wanted to finish that off right. He didn't play in Dallas, a bit of a nagging injury. It's probably still nagging him a little bit, but I think he wants to finish the year out strong. He came out and played very well tonight."

Vrbata tried to score an empty-net goal late in the third period to complete a hat trick, but his shot attempt from the defensive zone slid a few feet to the right of the net.

"In the air, I think it was going down the middle, but soon as it hit the ice, I put too much spin on it, and it just started spinning to the outside," Vrbata said. 

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

• Center Alexander Burmistrov scored the prettiest goal of the game at 9:40 of the second period to extend his point streak (four goals, one assist) to four games. Defenseman Alex Goligoski set the goal up with a nifty shot-pass.

"I wish I was here for a full season," said Burmistrov, who joined the Coyotes in January via the waiver wire. "I feel pretty comfortable right now."

• Goalie Louis Domingue made 26 saves in his final start of the season, and improved to 6-1 in his past seven starts. Mike Smith will start the season finale vs. Minnesota on Saturday night.

• Forward Max Domi notched two assists to extend his point streak (zero goals, five assists) to four games.

Domi also took his first NHL penalty shot at 6:03 of the first third period. His back-handed shot got past Miller but hit the crossbar and deflected over the goal.

"I missed," Domi quipped. "... (I should have) let Luke Schenn take the shot for me. He seemed to have the pretty hot stick today."

Video: Max Domi discusses Coyotes' 4-3 win over Canucks

Christian Dvorak won nine of 15 face-offs and needs just five more wins to tie the franchise record for face-off wins by a rookie set by Martin Hanzal in 2007-08.

• Captain Shane Doan returned to the lineup after missing Tuesday's game because of a lower-body injury. Doan skated 15:30 and took two shots on goal.

• With the win, Arizona climbed over Vancouver and into 28th place in the NHL's overall standings. The Coyotes have earned 70 points with one game left; the Canucks have earned 69 points with two games left.

"We capitalized on chances," Tippett said. "It was kind of a sloppy game all the way around, but that's what you kind of get right now with two teams out of the playoffs ... We made some mistakes in the third, but we were able to hold on ... We're putting our lineup out there that we think we can win. That's how we've pushed this last little while. We want to be an honest, hard-working team that's going to compete right to the end. That's what we're thinking about."

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

• About a dozen fans held up various Oliver Ekman-Larsson jerseys against the glass in the Coyotes zone during warm-up as a sympathetic gesture to the defenseman, who left the team earlier this week because of the death of his mother.

Tweet from @Donna_0903: Pretty cool to see at tonight's @ArizonaCoyotes warm ups! Coyote fans are thinking of you @OEL_23!

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