ARIZONA COYOTES

Welcome back: Coyotes’ Christian Dvorak makes season debut

Feb 26, 2019, 11:34 PM
Christian Dvorak of the Arizona Coyotes skates up to a face-off during the third period of the NHL ...
Christian Dvorak of the Arizona Coyotes skates up to a face-off during the third period of the NHL game against the Pittsburgh Penguins at Gila River Arena on December 16, 2017 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

GLENDALE, Ariz. — The Arizona Coyotes, like many other teams in the league, welcomed a player into their lineup for the first time this season in their first game after the trade deadline.

Christian Dvorak made his season debut for 2018-19 on Tuesday, finally making his way back from a pair of injuries that have kept him out of NHL action since March 29, 2018. He played 13:18 in the Coyotes’ 4-3 shootout victory over the Florida Panthers, Arizona’s fourth win in a row.

He was a minus-3 — being on the ice for all three of Florida’s goals — but was heavily involved offensively and registered two shots on goal, two hits, a block, a giveaway and won five faceoffs in 11 tries. He also had 1:30 of power play time.

“I thought ‘D’ was fine early,” head coach Rick Tocchet said. “It was unfortunate, some of those goals [against], I don’t think it’s his fault. I think he played 13, 14 minutes, he was fine. He was skating well early. He’s just got to get his legs under him.”

Through the first 25 minutes-or-so of play, Dvorak was controlling the puck for what were arguably the two best scoring chances the Coyotes had up to that point. He didn’t score on either one — the first being a partial breakaway on a stretch pass and the other being an opportunity right on the doorstep of the crease on a pass from Alex Galchenyuk.

“I thought I was alright. I thought I had some chances I thought I should’ve scored on,” Dvorak said. “I was out there for all three goals against, so that’s never good. There’s some things to work on and all-in-all, I felt pretty solid.”

Dvorak also made a nice play late in the game when the Panthers were on the offensive zone rush. He got back defensively and made a simple poke-check to quell a scoring chance with less than a minute remaining.

“It feels good. You don’t really feel like part of the team, really, when you’re not playing,” Dvorak said. “And it’s been a while. So, it’s a lot of fun to be back, especially at this time of year.”

After getting back Dvorak — and sending center Jordan Weal to Montreal in a trade on Monday — the Coyotes had Nick Cousins, Derek Stepan, Brad Richardson and Dvorak as the four centers in their lineup, top-to-bottom.

Dvorak was listed on the fourth line with Richard Panik and Conor Garland.

The Coyotes will play again on Thursday night, the third game in a seven-game homestand in the midst of a playoff race. That contest is against Vancouver, with puck drop set for 7 p.m. on ESPN 620 AM.

Comments

Comment guidelines: No name-calling, personal attacks, profanity, or insults. Please keep the conversation civil and help us moderate comments by reporting abuse.
comments powered by Disqus

Arizona Coyotes

Vegas Golden Knights left wing Max Pacioretty (67) scores a goal against Arizona Coyotes goaltender...
Associated Press

Coyotes give up 7 goals in loss to Golden Knights

The Arizona Coyotes lost at home to the Vegas Golden Knights, giving up four of their seven goals allowed in the second period.
6 hours ago
President, CEO & Alternate Governor Xavier A. Gutierrez (Photo by Kelsey Grant/NHLI via Getty I...
Arizona Sports

Coyotes CEO Gutierrez: Report of potential sale, move ‘incredibly frustrating’

Arizona Coyotes president Xavier Gutierrez called a report that said the team was for sale and targeting a move "utterly false."
1 day ago
Arizona Coyotes right wing Hudson Fasching (24) and Minnesota Wild defenseman Jon Merrill (4) go af...
Wills Rice

Arizona Coyotes assign Hudson Fasching to Tucson Roadrunners

The Arizona Coyotes announced on Wednesday that forward Hudson Fasching was assigned to the AHL affiliate Tucson Roadrunners.
3 days ago
Arizona Coyotes center Liam O'Brien (38) and Minnesota Wild right wing Brandon Duhaime (21) fight d...
Associated Press

Early goal in Minnesota not enough as Coyotes drop 2nd of back-to-back

The Arizona Coyotes dropped their second of a back-to-back on Tuesday night, a 5-2 road loss to the Minnesota Wild.
4 days ago
Goaltender Karel Vejmelka #70 of the Arizona Coyotes keeps an eye on teammate Dysin Mayo #61 as he ...
Associated Press

Karel Vejmelka’s 46-save shutout carries Coyotes past Jets

Rookie Karel Vejmelka made 46 saves to record his first career shutout, the most in NHL history for player in the first of their career.
5 days ago
Arizona Coyotes goalie Scott Wedgewood (31) covers up the puck while making a save against the Dall...
Associated Press

Arizona Coyotes drop 2nd straight game after loss to Dallas Stars at home

The Arizona Coyotes lost their second consecutive game with a 3-2 defeat against the Dallas Stars on Saturday night.
7 days ago
Welcome back: Coyotes’ Christian Dvorak makes season debut