The Phoenix Coyotes defeated the Anaheim Ducks by a score of 5-4 in a shootout at home Saturday night.
Monday night, the Coyotes beat the same team by the same score in the same fashion.
‘Yotes head coach Dave Tippett told Arizona Sports 620’s Burns and Gambo a lot of the credit for his team’s recent success goes to the contributions his defensemen have made on offense.
“In the NHL today you have to have your defensemen contribute on the offensive side,” he said. “It’s hard to score goals and we’re fortunate we have some guys that can really move the puck in (Oliver) Ekman-Larsson and (Keith) Yandle.”
In Saturday’s victory, the Coyotes’ defense helped get things going on offense a bit. In the second period Yandle notched his ninth assist of the year while Ekman-Larsson got his 11th in the third period.
The defense really stepped up Monday night for Phoenix. Ekman-Larsson tallied his 12th and 13th assists in the second period against the Ducks, with his second of the night setting up fellow defenseman Yandle for a slapshot goal, his fourth on the season.
Not to mention, Ekman-Larsson put the game winning goal right past Anaheim goalie Jonas Hiller’s glove in a shootout. However, the Coyotes wouldn’t have had the opportunity to win had not defenseman Michael Stone scored to tie the game at 4-4 with 7:49 left in the third period.
“Mike Stone has a really, really hard shot that when he can get it away he can do some damage,” Tippett said. “We’ve got defensemen that we push them to try to contribute on the offensive side as well as being good defenders. Last night was a good example of that coming true for us.”