GLENDALE – Center Antoine Vermette returned to the lineup on Friday night vs. Vancouver after missing three games because of a lower-body injury.
Vermette played 19:09, won nine of 17 face-offs and assisted on Max Domi’s goal in the second period for his first point of the season. He added another assist on Tobias Rieder’s goal in the third period.
“It’s nice to contribute on the score sheet but still the goal is to win as a team,” Vermette said. “We’ll take the positives and try to build and hopefully we can get a win the next game.”
Vermette has notched 24 points vs. Vancouver in 30 games.
• Domi moved into sole possession of first place on the team’s points list on Friday when he scored a goal for his 11th point in his 11th NHL game.
With the goal, his fifth of the season scored backhanded at 5:50 of the second period, Domi moved ahead of Martin Hanzal, who did not play for a second straight game because of a lower-body injury. Hanzal has 10 points – all assists.
Domi's goal pulled the Coyotes to within 3-1 and snapped Arizona’s scoreless streak at 98:50.
For those wondering, the Coyotes/Jets franchise record for points in a season by a rookie is an eye-popping 132 by Teemu Selanne set in 1992-93. It’s also an NHL record.
• Captain Shane Doan led the team with six hits and co-led the team with four shots.
• Facing the Canucks for the first time since leaving Vancouver via free agency, center Brad Richardson won nine of 14 face-offs.
• Forward Tyler Gaudet assisted on Steve Downie’s goal – his first with Arizona – at 17:04 of the second period. It was Gaudet’s first point in the NHL and it came in his fifth game.
“It’s a milestone that I can cross off the list, but we lost the game and that’s the bigger issue tonight,” Gaudet said.
• Defenseman Nicklas Grossmann also assisted on Downie's goal for his first point with the Coyotes.
• Head Coach Dave Tippett on goalie Mike Smith, whom he pulled from the game at 4:26 of the first period after Smith allowed two goals on Vancouver’s first three shots:
“He hasn’t played as well as we’d like here this last little bit. Hopefully the week off and some good practice this week will help.”
• Backup goalie Anders Lindback replaced Smith for the second time this season and stopped 17 of 19 shots he faced.
“It happened fast,” Lindback said. “I just tried to focus on my job real quick and get into it, but unfortunately they got a goal early. But I’m glad the way we responded.”
The first goal against Lindback came 6:33 after he entered the game when a shot through traffic deflected off a skate of Vancouver’s Brendan Gaunce and over the line.