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Yotes notes: Murphy benched as Coyotes search for solutions

Arizona Coyotes head coach Dave Tippett watches his team play the Detroit Red Wings during the second period of an NHL hockey game in Detroit, Thursday, Dec. 3, 2015. (AP Photo/Jose Juarez)

Coyotes at Hurricanes

When: Sunday, 3 p.m.

Where: PNC Arena, Raleigh, N.C.

TV: DirecTV Ch. 769

Radio: ESPN 620 AM

Injury report: Coyotes: F Shane Doan (IR, groin) is day to day and won’t play. F Joe Vitale (fractured orbital bone) is on IR. Hurricanes — F Nathan Gerbe (lower body) and D James Wisniewski (torn ACL) are on IR.

Scouting the Hurricanes: Carolina had lost three straight games before Saturday’s win over Montreal. The Hurricanes have fallen to the bottom of the Metropolitan Division and into a tie for last in the NHL standings with 22 points. … C Eric Staal has been the subject of trade rumors but Canes management expects to have more talks with Staal on a contract extension before he explores free agency in the offseason. … D Justin Faulk leads the team with eight goals and 18 points.

 

It would be hard to call the Coyotes’ day off on Saturday in Raleigh, North Carolina well earned after three straight road losses in which they allowed five goals. Maybe it was a much-needed rest, however, after a grueling schedule to open this season.

Coach Dave Tippett is not happy with the number of mistakes and the low level of execution he’s seeing from his team, but as has been the case the past couple of years, he has few roster options for sending messages, particularly because a couple forwards on the team’s AHL affiliate are currently injured.

Tippett sent one such message when he benched defenseman Connor Murphy on Friday in Buffalo. When asked why, Tippett was vague.

“We’re trying to get better,” he said. “What we’re doing lately is not good enough. We’ve got too many people that are playing below par.

“He’s a young player that can take a day, watch the game and see where we’re at.”

Murphy has struggled with mental mistakes recently that have led to turnovers, penalties and a costly offside infraction that negated an early goal for the Coyotes in Detroit on Thursday that would have given Arizona a 1-0 lead.

The 2011 first-round pick (20th overall) has one goal and four assists this season. He was replaced in the lineup by Stefan Elliott.

DOMI STILL ROLLING

One bright spot in Friday’s 5-2 loss to the Sabres was rookie Max Domi, who scored both Coyotes goals to pull into a tie for the rookie goal-scoring lead with the Red Wings’ Dylan Larkin and the Rangers Oscar Lindberg at 10.

“Max came out and really game us a strong game,” Tippett said. “When players give you strong games like that it’s too bad you can’t find ways to make those count out as wins.”

Domi is second in rookie points with 23, trailing Chicago’s 24-year-old Artemi Panarin (26).

COACH’S CHALLENGE

For the second time on this road trip, the Coyotes were victimized by a coach’s challenge that overturned one of their goals.

On Friday in Buffalo, Arizona thought it had pulled within 4-3 on Nicklas Grossmann’s backhand at 12:03 of the third period, but the Sabres issued a coach’s challenge on the grounds of goaltender interference. Upon video review, the officials determined center Martin Hanzal interfered with Johnson and the goal was waved off.

“The rule is in place to get things right,” Tippett said. “I’ve seen a little variance on some but usually they get it right.”

The Coyotes lost a challenge in Detroit on Thursday early in the game when Klas Dahlbeck’s goal was waved off after video review showed Murphy was offside on the play.

LOOSE PUCKS

— The Coyotes are one of just four teams that have not played in a shootout this season, joining Chicago, Colorado and Minnesota.

— Evander Kane’s shorthanded goal early in the third period was the sixth shorthanded goal the Coyotes have allowed this season. That is the most in the NHL this season. Pittburgh (1984-85), Minnesota (1991-92) and Colorado (1995-96) share the NHL single-season record for most shorthanded goals allowed at 22.

— Anders Lindback will start in goal for the Coyotes. Cam Ward gets the nod for Carolina.

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