GLENDALE, Ariz. — The Coyotes placed forward Brendan Perlini on injured reserve with an upper-body injury and recalled forward Emerson Etem from Tucson of the American Hockey League on Wednesday.
Perlini suffered the injury Tuesday in the first period of a 5-2 loss to the Vegas Golden Knights in Las Vegas. He has one assist through three games this year.
Etem had a goal and an assist with a plus-2 rating in one game for the Roadrunners this season. Etem, Anaheim’s first-round pick (No. 29) in 2010, has played 173 NHL games with Anaheim, Vancouver and the New York Rangers.
“We need some guys to come up here, go into the corner and win battles,” coach Rick Tocchet said. “Etem has played some NHL games. In training camp, and in some exhibition games, he made some nice speed plays and we need some speed plays. If he plays [Wednesday against Detroit], it’s a good opportunity for him to show he’s a reliable forward that can help us win.”
FIRST PAIR BLAHS
Oliver Ekman-Larsson and Niklas Hjalmarsson are just three games into their careers as defense partners in a new system with lots of new faces, but the early returns have not been good. They have combined for two assists, they’re a combined minus-6 and their respective Corsi For percentages of 45.10 and 41.41 reveal that they are defending more than they are generating offense.
“They know they’ve struggled a little bit just to trying to understand certain things, but they’re pros, they’ll bounce back,” coach Rick Tocchet said. “I talked to [Oliver] today and he said there’s a couple different things that he’s trying to understand. It’s going to take some time. I knew there was going to be some growing pains with this.”
One of the things Tocchet is stressing is better gap control while defending.
“I can just talk for myself and I expect more of myself,” Hjalmarsson said. “As a defenseman, if you have a good gap you’re always going to be much closer to the puck and the game is going to be much easier. That’s something we have to get much better on.”
Tocchet broke up the pair for part of Tuesday’s 5-2 loss at Vegas, but each of the Coyotes’ three defense pairings was on the ice for an even-strength goal against in the first period.
Goalie Antti Raanta’s two games this season could not look more different from one another. He stopped 40 shots in a 2-1 overtime loss to Vegas on Saturday at Gila River Arena, and then he allowed three goals on five shots before giving way to Louis Domingue with 13:45 left in the first period on Tuesday.
“You need to make the saves early in the game when they are pushing hard,” Raanta said. “You kind of need to calm the team and calm their pressure. I couldn’t do it. They got three quick ones. I would say all of those; you need to make the save. The game would be totally different.
“A 3-0 lead after [six-plus] minutes, it’s tough to come back when a team has that kind of momentum.”
Consistency is the ingredient the Coyotes are looking for from Raanta, who has never played more than 30 games in a season.
“He wishes he had a couple back, but listen, when it was 2-0, you still like to bail the guy out a little bit,” Tocchet said. “He’ll bounce back.”
Forward Jordan Martinook (lower body) returned to practice on Wednesday after missing Tuesday’s game in Las Vegas with a lower-body injury.
Forward Nick Cousins (lower body) and defenseman Kevin Connauton (lower body) missed Wednesday’s practice.
Red Wings at Coyotes
When: 7 p.m., Thursday
Where: Gila River Arena
TV: FOX Sports Arizona
Radio: ESPN 620 AM
Records: Coyotes — 0-2-1. Red Wings — 2-1.
Injury report: Coyotes — D Jakob Chychrun (knee) and F Brendan Perlini (upper body) are on injured reserve. F Jordan Martinook (lower body) practiced Wednesday and could play. D Kevin Connauton (lower body) and F Nick Cousins (lower body) are day-to-day.
Red Wings — D Niklas Kronwall (groin) practiced Wednesday and could play. D Danny DeKeyser (lower body) is day-to-day.
Red Wings scouting report: — Detroit dropped its first game on Tuesday in Dallas after a pair of wins over Minnesota and Ottawa. … Defenseman Mike Green leads the team with six assists in three games. Forward Anthony Mantha has two goals and four points. … The Red Wings are 14-5-1-2 all-time at Gila River Arena.