Skip to main content
The Official Site of the Arizona Coyotes

'Yotes Notes: Smith's Play in OT Keys Win

Coyotes goalie Mike Smith made big saves during Flyers' big offensive push

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

Mike Smith Q&A

Goalie Mike Smith discusses 4-3 OT win over Flyers

Coyotes goalie Mike Smith discusses the team's 4-3 OT win over Philadelphia at Gila River Arena

  • 03:04 •

GLENDALE -- Mike Smith made five of his 27 saves during a frenzied overtime period dominated by Philadelphia on Saturday night at Gila River Arena. Smith's stellar play in net allowed the Coyotes to eventually get the puck out of their zone, and Oliver Ekman-Larsson scored at 3:12 on a delayed penalty to lift the Coyotes to a 4-3 win in their season/home opener.

"I don't think my heart rate has been that high before," Smith said of the overtime. "It was exhausting. Not just for me, but for all the guys on the ice there. You get plugged in your own end and can't seem to get the puck out (so you) just try to battle it out and find a way to get the puck out or get a whistle. We found a way to get it done."

Video: PHI@ARI: Mike Smith slides across to keep Coyotes alive

For Ekman-Larsson, the game-winning goal was his 25th since entering the NHL in 2010-11, which leads all NHL defensemen during that time. He was pretty tired when he scored it because he had just spent a long shift defending in Arizona's zone.

"I play with a lot of confidence in 3-on-3 and overtime," Ekman-Larsson said. "(Radim Vrbata) and Marty (Hanzal) did a really good job of finding me there so it really wasn't that hard to put it in. We found a way to win this game and that means a lot, especially with a lot of young guys on this team. I think they played an unbelievable game and our veterans stepped up and helped them out."

Video: Oliver Ekman-Larsson discusses 4-3 OT win over Flyers

• Head Coach Dave Tippett liked the way his veteran players and his younger players executed together, despite blowing a 3-1 lead.

"We're going to have to rely on everybody, that's kind of who we are," Tippett said. "Those veteran guys, you get in a game like that (and) it's the first game of the year, there's a lot of excitement in the game, lots of penalties, lots of emotion in the game. That's where veteran players have been in that situation before. Whether it's the first game or the 40th game, they react a little different. It's great for our young players to go through it. We got the points and now we go on a tough road trip."

Video: Dave Tippett discusses Coyotes 4-3 OT win over Flyers

Shane Doan scored his 397th career NHL goal and is just three goals away from becoming the 92nd player in NHL history to score 400 goals.

• Rookies Christian Dvorak and Jakob Chychrun made their NHL debuts and notched their first points in the League when they assisted on Arizona's two goals in the first period. 

Dvorak won an offensive zone face-off on a power play and assisted on Doan's goal at 8:49, and Chychrun flashed his speed to set up Martin Hanzal's goal at 14:17.

Dvorak, 20, logged 16:17 of ice time and delivered three hits.

"It was a lot fun and a pretty cool game to be a part of and a good two points for the guys," Dvorak said. "It was a lot more intense than preseason and a lot faster. I think all of us (rookies) did a good job."

Chychrun, 18, played 12:09, delivered two hits, took a shot and blocked a shot. With 9:39 left in the third period he fell awkwardly, feet-first, into the end boards while chasing the puck and had to be helped off the ice. He returned to the bench before the period ended.

"It was great," Chychrun said of his first game. "I was really excited for this and I was a little nervous once I got to the rink. I just got myself ready to play. It was a very good experience. I hope to have another one in Ottawa (on Tuesday)."

Lawson Crouse also made his NHL debut. He played 5:36 and delivered two hits.

Dylan Strome, who made the Opening Night roster, was a healthy scratch.

• With the win, the Coyotes improved to 8-2-0 in season openers on home ice since moving to Arizona in 1996.

Anthony Duclair played in his 100th career NHL game.

• Goalie Nikolai Khabibulin, who started the first game in Coyotes history back in 1996, dropped the ceremonial first puck.

View More