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'Yotes Notes: Turnovers Hamper Execution vs. Jets

Arizona committed nine giveaways in 3-2 loss to Winnipeg

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

Dave Tippett Q&A

Dave Tippett discusses Coyotes' 3-2 loss to Jets

Coyotes head coach Dave Tippett answers questions after the team's 3-2 loss to Winnipeg on Thursday at Gila River Arena

  • 02:18 •

GLENDALE - The Coyotes committed nine giveaways on Thursday night in a 3-2 loss to the Winnipeg Jets at Gila River Arena.  

The most egregious turnover came late in the third period when defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson attempted to pass the puck up the center of the ice from behind Arizona's goal. Ekman-Larsson's pass hit the stick of Jets rookie Patrik Laine in front of the goal, and Nikolaj Ehlers scooped up the loose puck and wristed a shot past Coyotes goalie Louis Domingue with 3:14 left in the game. The goal gave Winnipeg a 3-1 lead and turned out to be the game-winner.

"I was trying to go across the ice there," Ekman-Larsson said of his errant pass attempt. "I was trying to be smart but I wasn't. It hit a stick; a bad break. It cost us the game. That's the way it goes."

Head Coach Dave Tippett said Ekman-Larsson wasn't the only member of the Coyotes to struggle with execution.

"We made some crucial errors and they finally capitalized on the one that Oliver made," Tippett said. "…We were alright, (our) execution was alright, but they raised the level of their game and we didn't match it. It's as simple as that. Our execution from the start of the second period on was not what it needs to be to give you a chance to win. They executed better than us, they won more battles than us, and they won the game."

The Coyotes entered the game with just 77 giveaways in their first 12 games. Even with the nine they committed on Thursday, Arizona still ranks 26th in the NHL in total giveaways. In other words, only four teams protect the puck better than the Coyotes.  

• Forward Radim Vrbata pulled Arizona into a 1-1 tie when he launched a slap shot from the dot inside the right face-off circle past Jets goalie Connor Hellebuyck at 9:48 of the first period. The goal was Vrbata's fifth of the season, which ties him with Ekman-Larsson and Jordan Martinook for the team lead. 

"At the end of the first period it was OK," Vrbata said. "Then in the second we put them on power play and they got some momentum, scored a couple goals, and they played well defensively. We just couldn't get anything going."

Vrbata's linemates, Martinook and Jamie McGinn, assisted on his goal.

"They've been our best line the past couple of games," Tippett said. "Martinook's jumped in there and done a nice job with (Matrtin) Hanzal being out. McGinn and Vrbata are good, honest players. Their chances come through the work that they put in. Their goal is the perfect example of that. ... They're playing the right way. That's a couple games they've played well together, but we need more people chipping in. You can't just have one line chipping in."

Video: Radim Vrbata discusses Coyotes' 3-2 loss to Jets

• Captain Shane Doan assisted on Tobias Rieder's goal at 19:58 of the third period. The assist was the 552nd of Doan's career and it leaves him just one behind Thomas Steen for the most in franchise history.

• Forward Ryan White delivered a game-high eight hits in 10:34 of ice time.

• Hanzal missed his fourth consecutive game because of a lower-body injury. He is expected to skate with teammates at practice on Friday. Meanwhile, defenseman Michael Stone missed his sixth straight game because of an upper-body injury. Stone likely will play on Saturday vs. Boston. 

• Goalie Mike Smith continues to skate and practice with the team. Tippett said there's a chance Smith will accompany the team on a two-game trip to Western Canada next week.

"If he gets to the point where he feels like he can play, we'll throw him in," Tippett said.

Smith hasn't played since suffering a lower-body injury on Oct. 18 in the second game of the season. 

Video: Louis Domingue discusses Coyotes' 3-2 loss to Jets

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