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Coyotes captain Ekman-Larsson scores game winner at IIHF Worlds

#23 Oliver Ekman-Larsson of Sweden passes the puck during the 2019 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship Slovakia group game between Sweden and Austria at Ondrej Nepela Arena on May 16, 2019 in Bratislava, Slovakia. (Photo by RvS.Media/Robert Hradil/Getty Images)

It isn’t Stanley Cup playoff hockey, but Arizona Coyotes captain Oliver Ekman-Larsson is scoring big goals in May.

Ekman-Larsson scored the game-winning goal for Sweden in its 4-3 win over Switzerland on Saturday in the group stage of the IIHF World Championships in Slovakia.

The Coyotes captain beat Switzerland’s goaltender glove side following a nifty pass from William Nylander with about eight minutes remaining to secure Sweden’s fourth win in five games.

It was OEL’s second goal and fourth point in five group stage games so far.

Ekman-Larsson is leading a squad that includes Maple Leafs winger Nylander, Penguins defenseman Marcus Pettersson, Predators defenseman Mattias Ekholm, Flames center Elias Lindholm and Penguins forward Patric Hornqvist.

Ekman-Larsson was an alternate captain for Sweden last year. Flames forward Mikael Backlund was the captain.

At last year’s IIHF World Championship, Sweden won its 11th title and second in a row by defeating Switzerland in the final.

This season, Ekman-Larsson scored 14 goals with 30 assists for 44 points, the second-most on the Coyotes behind Clayton Keller, who had 47 points. Ekman-Larsson’s 4.6 relative Corsi-for percentage was the highest on the Coyotes among players who played at least 50 games, and his 23:39 average time on ice was the highest among all Arizona skaters.


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