The Coyotes placed forward Brendan Perlini on injured reserve with an upper-body injury and recalled forward Emerson Etem from Tucson of the American Hockey League on Wednesday.

Perlini suffered the injury Tuesday in the first period of a 5-2 loss to the Vegas Golden Knights in Las Vegas. He has one assist through three games this year.

Etem had a goal and an assist with a plus-2 rating in one game for the Roadrunners this season. Etem, Anaheim’s first-round pick (No. 29) in 2010, has played 173 NHL games with Anaheim, Vancouver and the New York Rangers.

“We need some guys to come up here, go into the corner and win battles,” coach Rick Tocchet said. “Etem has played some NHL games. In training camp, and in some exhibition games, he made some nice speed plays and we need some speed plays. If he plays [Wednesday against Detroit], it’s a good opportunity for him to show he’s a reliable forward that can help us win.”

FIRST PAIR BLAHS

Oliver Ekman-Larsson and Niklas Hjalmarsson are just three games into their careers as defense partners in a new system with lots of new faces, but the early returns have not been good. They have combined for two assists, they’re a combined minus-6 and their respective Corsi For percentages of 45.10 and 41.41 reveal that they are defending more than they are generating offense.

“They know they’ve struggled a little bit just to trying to understand certain things, but they’re pros, they’ll bounce back,” coach Rick Tocchet said. “I talked to [Oliver] today and he said there’s a couple different things that he’s trying to understand. It’s going to take some time. I knew there was going to be some growing pains with this.”