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Arizona Coyotes send Laurent Dauphin to Tucson, seek win No. 2

Colorado Avalanche defenseman David Warsofsky, left, knocks the puck away from Arizona Coyotes right wing Josh Archibald as he drives to the net in the second period of an NHL hockey game Saturday, March 10, 2018, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

GLENDALE, Ariz. — The Arizona Coyotes sent forward Laurent Dauphin down to the Tucson Roadrunners on Friday, and it sounded as though forward Josh Archibald (upper-body) could take his place on the roster in the near future.

Head coach Rick Tocchet said Thursday that Archibald was cleared for contact in practice and could be available Saturday, but said Friday that he wasn’t necessarily ready to play.

“He needs a few more practices. It will probably be a game time (decision) with him, but he probably needs a couple more practices,” Tocchet said Friday. “He’s getting better.”

Archibald has yet to make his season debut for Arizona this year. The 26-year-old came over in a trade from the Penguins last year but was one of four Coyotes players to start this season on injured reserve, joining defenseman Jakob Chychrun (lower-body) and forwards Alex Galchenyuk (lower-body) and Christian Dvorak (lower-body).

Archibald scored 5-6-11 in 39 games for Arizona last season.

Dauphin, 23, did not play in an NHL game for the Coyotes this season and was temporarily sent to Tucson one already for a conditioning stint. He returned to the NHL club on Sunday.

Chychrun continues to skate with the team in a non-contact jersey, and Dvorak began to do the same on Thursday for the first time. Neither are imminently returning, but Tocchet indicated Thursday that those two are progressing in the right direction.

Dvorak will be re-evaluated next week. Alex Galchenyuk is not yet skating with the team, though is still on pace for what the team originally expected would be his recovery timeline.

NEXT ON THE SCHEDULE: THE BUFFALO SABRES

The monkey is off their backs. The Coyotes got their first win (and first goal) of the season on Saturday by beating the Ducks, with tallies from Dylan Strome and Brad Richardson and a shootout winner from Nick Cousins.

“I think it’s good, I think it relieves a little bit of pressure,” Tocchet told reporters after the win.

After a few days sitting on a win, Arizona gets its first chance to string two wins together.

As of Friday, the Coyotes have played just one game in the last six days, and their fourth game of the season (Saturday) comes 10 days after their campaign started. Compare that to last year when the team played its fourth game on the eighth day of their season, with a fifth game coming two days later.

“It’s helped. Obviously the start, you have a little bit more practice time, which every coach wants,” Tocchet said. “But eventually, the schedule — the heat’s going to come on us. For us, just managing the schedule, there’s going to be some stuff down the road to figure out.”

For now, having extra practice time can be useful for a team trying to find early success.

And up next on that schedule, Jack Eichel and the Buffalo Sabres (2-2-0) come to town and will face Arizona on Saturday.

Eichel is 3-1-4 in four games this season, leading the team in goals and points through four games so far.

Puck drop for Saturday’s game against the Sabres is at 6 p.m. on 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station.

GARLAND SENT DOWN

The Coyotes sent forward Conor Garland to the AHL Roadrunners on Friday. He started the year on season-opening injured reserve, per CapFriendly.


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