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preseason

5 things learned from Oct. 7 preseason games

Coyotes' Jakob Chychrun leaving impression, Sabres could have found top line

NHL.com @NHL

Now that the 15-day, 106-game preseason schedule has begun, it's time to take a closer look at the players, teams and stories that are making headlines in the weeks leading up to the start of the regular season on Wednesday.

Here are five things we learned from the preseason games Friday:

Kids impressing Coyotes: The Arizona Coyotes have used lineups stocked with younger players for most of the preseason and did so again in a 3-1 victory against the San Jose Sharks at Gila River Arena. Those younger players helped the Coyotes go 5-1-2 in the preseason, and are making for some difficult choices for coach Dave Tippett as preparations are made to get the roster down to 23.

"They continue to impress, a lot of them," Tippett told the Coyotes website. "But as you get deeper in [preseason play], you start to play against teams like that that are more NHL players. You see some good things, but ultimately you see some flaws too. You just try to manage that. For us, it's about getting our whole team together now with the best lineup we can."

Among the young players pushing for NHL jobs is defenseman Jakob Chychrun, the 16th pick of the 2016 NHL Draft. He's focused on playing a simple game but could provide the Coyotes with another puck-moving defenseman to go along with Oliver Ekman-Larsson.

"I've learned how quick it is at this level," said Chychrun, who was a plus-1 in 18:01 of ice time against the Sharks. "You see your time with the puck go down. You have to really be thinking ahead. You have to be thinking where your next play is before it even happens. Just being prepared is part of being a pro, just preparing yourself for all situations. I've learned a ton here. I'm going to take that with me wherever I go."

San Jose finishes its preseason schedule at the Anaheim Ducks on Sunday.

Video: Nemeth's pair of goals leads Stars over Kings, 6-3

Stars shine in Las Vegas: The Dallas Stars beat the Los Angeles Kings 6-3 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas to finish the preseason with a 4-3-0 record. Antti Niemi made 38 saves and defenseman Patrik Nemeth helped his case for a roster spot by scoring two goals.

The star of the night was the new arena, which will house an NHL expansion team next season.

"It's going to take a little bit of getting used to, being in Las Vegas for hockey," Stars center Jason Spezza said. "But I thought they did a good job. For a first run I think it was pretty good. It's definitely suited for hockey. It doesn't look like there's too much extra stuff going on. The fans are in good spots. The lighting's really good. I like the bright lights."

The Kings play the Colorado Avalanche in Las Vegas on Saturday.

New line a big hit in Buffalo: Evander Kane, Jack Eichel and Sam Reinhart were a hit in their first time together as a line in a game during the Buffalo Sabres' 4-2 defeat of the Ottawa Senators at Canadian Tire Center. Reinhart scored a goal and assisted on a goal by Kane, who also had an assist. Eichel had an assist in his second preseason game after playing six games for Team North America at the World Cup of Hockey 2016.

Kane, Eichel and Reinhart had been linemates briefly in March and had some success before Kane's sustained a season-ending upper-body injury March 28.

"We've been skating a lot in practice and we're familiar with each other," Reinhart told the Sabres website. "I know we're going to sit down in the week to come before the season and kind of get more familiar with each other. But I like the way we read off each other and controlled the play for the most part."

The Sabres' next game is their regular-season opener against the Montreal Canadiens on Thursday. The Senators start their season at home against the Toronto Maple Leafs on Wednesday.

Video: DET@TOR: Svechnikov slides a rebound past Enroth

Good things to come: Evgeny Svechnikov, the Detroit Red Wings' first-round pick (No. 19) in the 2015 NHL Draft, is expected to start the season with Grand Rapids of the American Hockey League. But he left a calling card by scoring two goals in the Red Wings' 2-1 victory against the Toronto Maple Leafs at FirstOntario Centre in Hamilton, Ontario.

Svechnikov scored on a first-period wrist shot that beat Toronto goaltender Jhonas Enroth, then broke a 1-1 tie at 4:39 of the second period by beating Enroth after he picked up the rebound of a point shot by defenseman Robbie Russo.

The Maple Leafs and Red Wings play at Joe Louis Arena in Detroit on Saturday in each team's preseason finale.

Hanifin finishes strong: Carolina Hurricanes second-year defenseman Noah Hanifin had perhaps his best game of the preseason with a goal and an assist in the Hurricanes' 3-2 shootout victory against the Washington Capitals at PNC Arena.

Hanifin had the second assist on Lee Stempniak's second-period goal, then scored a power-play goal at 5:40 of the third period.

"I thought Noah skated real well tonight. He was dangerous," coach Bill Peters told the Hurricanes website. "I thought he played real well."

The Hurricanes hope they haven't lost defenseman Justin Faulk, who left the game in the second period because of a lower-body injury. Earlier Friday, the Hurricanes announced that defenseman Ryan Murphy will miss 3-4 weeks because of a lower-body injury.

"I don't think it's anything serious," Peters said of Faulk. "I just think he had a little bit of general soreness so we took him out for precautionary measures."

The Hurricanes' next game is its season opener against the Winnipeg Jets on Thursday, the first game of a season-opening six-game road trip. The Capitals complete their preseason schedule against the New York Islanders at Verizon Center on Sunday.

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