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'Yotes Notes: Special Teams Struggle vs. Vegas

Arizona allowed a power-play goal, a shorthanded goal and went 0 for 5 on power plays on Saturday night

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

GLENDALE -- The Coyotes struggled on special teams on Saturday night, and it cost them in a 4-2 loss to the Vegas Golden Knights at Gila River Arena. 

Arizona gave up a power-play goal and a shorthanded goal, and went 0 for 5 on power plays, including a 5-on-3 advantage that lasted 1:26 in the third period when the Coyotes trailed 3-1.

Arizona is 0 for 8 with a two-man advantage this season. 

"Our 5-on-3 has become an issue," Head Coach Rick Tocchet said. "You can tell guys are tense right now. It's a couple of passes and it's attacking the net. We're all kind of looking around ... We just need to relax, (make) a couple of passes and blast the puck. We're going to have to keep working through it."

Video: Tocchet: Was a Winnable Game

Derek Stepan said he believes the Coyotes need time to become more comfortable as a unit on the 5-on-3s.

"Our 5-on-3 is something that we've got to continue to work on," Stepan said. "It's something that as you learn each other, I think it's important that we get a unit together and continue to work as a group. You look around the League, everyone's 5-on-3's have been together for a long time and we've got a brand new unit. We're trying to figure it out, but it's a big moment and we certainly have to find ways to score. I don't think that we've had a lack of effort, but we've got to find ways to score on that."

• Stepan assisted on both of Arizona's goals and extended his point streak to six games. He also was involved in a key play in the middle of the first period.

Tied 0-0, Coyotes defenseman Jason Demers fired a shot from the right point that sailed past Golden Knights goalie Malcolm Subban and into the Vegas net. The goal was immediately waved off because Stepan made contact with Subban as the puck was in flight. The Coyotes challenged the ruling of goaltender interference, but the video review confirmed the interference.

Tweet from @PR_NHL: Explanation of Coach's Challenge at 9:31 of the first period in the @GoldenKnights/@ArizonaCoyotes game. #VGKvsARI https://t.co/khk8K7WAef

"It was goaltender interference," Stepan said. "I've got no issues with that (call)."

Video: Stepan: Have to Score on 5-on-3s

Oliver Ekman-Larsson extended his point streak to five games when he scored Arizona's first goal at 0:21 of the third period. Ekman-Larsson wristed a shot from just inside the blue line through traffic and past Subban.  

After scoring just twice in his first 22 games, Ekman-Larsson has scored a goal in three of his past four games.

Brendan Perlini set a new career-high goal-scoring streak when he netted the game's prettiest goal at 10:35 of the third period. Perlini, who raced the puck up the right wing and danced around multiple defenders before roofing a shot over Subban and under the crossbar, has scored a goal in each of the past four games.

Video: VGK@ARI: Perlini dekes through defense and scores

• Vegas took control of the game by scoring three goals within a 1:42 span of the second period. Tocchet pulled goalie Scott Wedgewood after the third goal at 9:05 and replaced him with Marek Langhamer, whom the team recalled from the American Hockey League on Thursday to replace injured Antti Raanta. Langhamer stopped all 10 shots he faced in his second career NHL appearance.

Langhamer said his approach upon entering the game was to simply stop the bleeding.

"The guys really made it easy for me, especially in the first 10 minutes," Langhamer said. "I was just trying to shut them down in the first 10 minutes and just go from there. Obviously it worked, but I've got to give a lot of credit to the guys, they helped a lot."

Christian Fischer and Anthony Duclair co-led the team with five shots on goal apiece. Fischer played 17:22 and Duclair played 9:42.

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