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'Yotes Notes: Stone Returns After Lengthy Absence

Defenseman Michael Stone played his first game since March on Friday

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

Defenseman Michael Stone returned to the lineup on Friday night as the Coyotes lost to the New York Islanders, 3-2, at the Barclays Center.

Stone played for the first time since suffering a serious knee injury in a game late last season that required surgery and six months of recovery. Paired with Alex Goligoski, Stone logged 20:28 of ice time in his first game since March 26. He took one shot on goal, blocked three shots and delivered three hits.

"It was awesome," Stone said. "It felt really good to get back out there. It sucks watching. It was a long process. Once you get past the first test, and once you get past the second one, and once you get to the end it's a good feeling knowing that you're going to get back in there ... It all felt fast to me. I don't know how I looked, but it was quick."

To make room on the roster for Stone, the Coyotes placed goalie Mike Smith on the injured-reserve list retroactive to Oct. 18, the day he suffered a lower-body injury in a game vs. Ottawa.

"I never, ever thought this (injury) was going to hinder me in any way," Stone said. "... I feel the same, I just have extra gear to put on."

Video: Michael Stone discusses returning to the lineup

• Head Coach Dave Tippett is getting antsy for some of the team's top offensive players to get going this season.

"We've got (Brad) Richardson and (Jordan) Martinook who are playing hard but they're the guys leading our scoring, so we need some scoring throughout the whole lineup," Tippett said. "We could take a few more results from some other guys for sure."

Video: Dave Tippett discusses Coyotes' 3-2 loss to Islanders

• Richardson scored Arizona's first goal at 14:09 of the first period to extend his point streak to a career-high four games.

Shane Doan assisted on Richardson's goal and moved into sole possession of second place on the team's all-time assists list with 551. Thomas Steen holds the record with 553. Rookie Laurent Dauphin also assisted on Richardson's goal for his first NHL assist.

• Rookie Dylan Strome competed against his older brother Ryan for the first time on NHL ice. Both players were first-round draft picks. The Coyotes selected Dylan third overall in 2015 and the Islanders drafted Ryan fifth overall in 2011.

Their parents, Chris and Trish, attended the game, in which Ryan scored New York's second goal at 13:31 of the first period and was named the No. 2 Star of the Game.

• Led by Martin Hanzal, the Coyotes won 41 of 63 face-offs. Hanzal captured 70 percent of his draws (19 of 27).

Hanzal, an alternate captain, is not pleased with the team's 1-3-0 record one week into the new season.

"It starts with me," Hanzal said. "It starts with the leadership and it goes all the way through our lineup. We are there, but we are not right there. We are close enough but not good enough. In this league, you can be OK, but you have to be great to win hockey games and we're just OK."

Video: Martin Hanzal discusses Coyotes' 3-2 loss to Isles

* Goalie Louis Domingue stopped 28 of 31 shots in his first full game of the season.

Johnny Boychuk scored New York's game-winning goal short-handed in the third period,

"That's a shot that probably should be stopped," Tippett said. "On those goals, you always go back to the play but really we just get a stop there and you don't even look at it again."

He added: "(Domingue) made some good saves, some tough saves. We'll re-evaluate after this game and see where we go on Sunday."

Arizona plays the New York Rangers on Sunday at Madison Square Garden.  





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