COYOTES (14-6-4) at WILD (15-6-4)
Season series: This is the first of three games between the teams this season. The Minnesota Wild were 2-1-0 against the Phoenix Coyotes in 2012-13.
Big story: Both teams may be missing one of their top players.
Coyotes captain Shane Doan left the game Monday against the Nashville Predators with a lower-body injury and did not participate in practice Tuesday. Doan did take part in Wednesday's morning skate, and afterward he said he would be "a game-time decision."
The Wild will try to extend their home winning streak to seven without leading scorer Zach Parise, who's expected to miss two to three weeks with a bruised foot after blocking a shot against the St. Louis Blues on Monday.
Coyotes: With or without Doan, Phoenix will be trying to break a three-game losing streak.
Doan has been in top shape over most of his 18-year career with the Phoenix/Winnipeg franchise; he has missed just 38 out of a possible 1,055 games since the 1998-99 season.
“It’s nothing serious,” Head Coach Dave Tippett said Wednesday when asked to describe Doan's injury. “It’s just we don’t want it to get worse.”
Phoenix is 5-0-2 with a seven-game point streak at Minnesota over the past 4 seasons.
Backup goalie Thomas Greiss will be in net for the Coyotes making just his third start of the season. Greiss is 2-1-0 with a 2.38 goals-against average and a .928 save percentage.
Defenseman Connor Murphy, whom the Coyotes recalled from the American Hockey League on Wednesday, will be in the lineup for his second NHL game and first NHL road game. Murphy was selected by the Coyotes in the first round of the 2011 Draft - at the Xcel Energy Center.
How's this for symmetry?
The Coyotes are averaging 3.17 goals per game and allowing 3.17 goals per game. Furthermore, they're fourth from top of the NHL team rankings in goals for and fourth from the bottom in goals against.
Wild: Minnesota is second in the Western Conference with 22 home points this season, including its current six-game winning streak, but the absence of Parise puts a big hole in the offense. Parise has 11 goals and leads the team with 22 points.
The timing of the injury couldn't be much worse. Eight of the Wild's next 10 games come against Phoenix, Colorado, Chicago, San Jose and Anaheim.
"Really frustrated, especially looking at the schedule that we’ve got coming up," Parise told the Minneapolis Star-Tribune. "We have some important games, some tough games, so the timing is not ideal, so hopefully it won’t be that long and I’ll be able to come back sooner than we’re saying."
Who's hot: Martin Hanzal has two goals and three assists over his past four games for the Coyotes. … Wild captain Mikko Koivu has three goals and six assists over his past seven games.
Injury report: Besides Doan, winger Lauri Korpikoski (upper body) and defenseman Zbynek Michalek (lower body) are injured for Phoenix. … The Wild are dealing with a few question marks for Wednesday. In addition to Parise, goalie Josh Harding (lower body) and forwards Torrey Mitchell (leg) and Mikael Granlund (upper body) are questionable. Defenseman Keith Ballard (leg) is almost ready to return.
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