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‘Yotes Notes: Team Adds Depth at Forward Before Trade Deadline

by Dave Vest / Arizona Coyotes

The Coyotes claimed forward Jiri Sekac off waivers from the Chicago Blackhawks on Saturday to bring their roster up to 23 players – the NHL limit. Sekac, an undrafted, speedy forward from Czech Republic, will join the Coyotes in Pittsburgh, where they will practice on Sunday and then play the Penguins on Monday in the road trip finale.

Sekac, 23, has notched 10 goals and 17 assists in 97 NHL games playing for Chicago, Anaheim and Montreal over the past two seasons. As a rookie last season, Sekac notched nine goals and 14 assists in 69 games with Montreal (50 games) and Anaheim (19 games).

The acquisition of Sekac gives the Coyotes 13 active forwards with the NHL Trade Deadline looming at 1 p.m. (AZ time) on Monday. Sekac is playing under a two-way contract and is set to become a restricted free agent at the end of the season.

Head Coach Dave Tippett told reporters after Saturday’s game that he knows “very little” about Sekac.

“I’ll have to do some research on him today,” Tippett said.

• The Coyotes dropped to 0-4-0 on this crucial five-game trip.

“We put a lot of good work into this game and we played in the offensive zone a ton,” Tippett said. “…We can’t get many breaks right now and we can’t capitalize on our chances.”

He added, “We’re having a tough time scoring. Games are close and you’re not as good a team when you have to chase the game.”

• Defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson notched his 19th goal of the season at 6:33 of the third period. Only Brent Burns of the San Jose Sharks (20) has scored more among NHL defensemen.

“Instead of finding ways to win hockey games we’re finding ways to lose right now,” Ekman-Larsson said. “We just have to keep working hard. We need to find points right now… It’s frustrating for sure… We have been trying a lot but it’s not enough. We have to find ways to win hockey games.”

Ekman-Larsson has scored 42 goals over the past two seasons, more than any other defenseman in the League.

• Playing in Philadelphia for the first time in the NHL, rookie Max Domi assisted on Brad Richardson’s goal in the first period. It was an especially meaningful game for Domi because he was playing in front of Flyers executive Bobby Clarke, whom he idolized as a young player because Clarke played NHL hockey despite being a diabetic. Domi, also a diabetic, has said Clarke inspired him to set his hockey goals high.

“I can only imagine the stuff he had to go through back then without the technology we have today,” Domi told the Coyotes Radio Network. “So, when I was a kid I said to myself if he can do it, why can’t I? I’ve looked up to him ever since and it’s kind of stuck in the back of my head throughout my whole career so far.”

Domi wears sweater No. 16 as a tribute to Clarke.

• Defenseman Nicklas Grossmann played 17:32, delivered two hits and blocked a shot playing his first game vs. the Flyers since being traded to the Coyotes by Philadelphia last summer.

• Defenseman Connor Murphy played 22:30, took one shot and delivered two hits in front of his father, Gord Murphy, an assistant coach with the Flyers.

• Forward Viktor Tikhonov logged 6:06 and took one shot on goal in his 100th career NHL game.

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