ARIZONA COYOTES

Coyotes’ Doan nets 400th career goal in 1,500th career game

Dec 23, 2016, 11:02 PM
(AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)...
(AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

(AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

GLENDALE, Ariz. — Auston Matthews may be the most famous product of Arizona’s youth hockey system, but he has a ways to go before he can claim the title of Arizona’s most famous hockey player.

That title belongs to Coyotes captain Shane Doan, who showed off his flair for the dramatic once again on Friday in Matthews’ first game back in Arizona since the Toronto Maple Leafs selected him first overall in the 2016 NHL Draft.

On the same night that Doan played his 1,500th NHL game — the 17th player in the NHL player to do so and the third active player — Doan scored his 400th career goal late in the second period to temporarily pull Arizona within a goal in a 4-1 loss to the Leafs. Doan took a feed from defenseman Connor Murphy to the left of the net and banged a puck into the open side.

One day earlier, Doan was musing that every other player to reach 1,500 games had long surpassed 400 goals. He became the 93rd player in NHL history to do so.

“I wish it didn’t take me as long,” Doan said. “I thought I had some in earlier games but they weren’t going in. Hopefully, this opens up the door and I can get a few more.”

It was a special night for Doan. Fans showered him cowboy hats to commemorate his milestone game and coach Dave Tippett asked him to take the opening draw against Matthews in the Scottsdale product’s first NHL game in Arizona.

“I obviously appreciated that,” Doan said. “Incredible gesture by him and that was one of those unique opportunities.”

“It was probably less about Auston and more about the 1,500 games,” Tippett added. “Let’s get it over with and get on with the game.”

Doan was hoping his goal would spark a Coyotes’ rally, so he downplayed the milestones in the wake of the Coyotes’ fourth straight loss.

“There’s obviously a time when everything’s probably said and done that you’ll understand it and appreciate it more,” said Doan, whose family was in attendance and raised signs to congratulate him. “Right now we’ve just got to find a way to win and that takes a little bit of the steam and wind out of anyone’s sail.”

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