CANUCKS (28-25-10) at COYOTES (27-23-11)
Season series: The Vancouver Canucks and Phoenix Coyotes face each other for the fifth and final time this season. The teams have split the first four games; Vancouver's wins came in overtime, the most-recent a 5-4 victory on Jan. 26.
Big story: The Canucks and Coyotes are battling for a playoff spot, but each are on the outside looking in. Vancouver has lost nine of its past 10 games, the latest a 4-2 decision to the Ottawa Senators at the 2014 Tim Hortons Heritage Classic at BC Place on Sunday. The Coyotes also fell Sunday, 4-2 to the St. Louis Blues, and missed an opportunity to jump over three teams, including the Canucks, for the final wild-card spot in the Western Conference.
Coyotes: Phoenix has picked the wrong time to go winless (0-3-1) in its past four games.
"It's obviously frustrating," goalie Mike Smith said. "We feel like we've done a lot of good things as of late and haven't gotten rewarded for it. We're in the trenches, though. We're still right there.
He added, "It’s an important game. Obviously, every game is important, but to play against a team like that right now that’s fighting for the same playoff spot you are, I think it’s a no-brainer. It shouldn’t be a tough one to get up for."
The Coyotes did not practice on Monday. Instead they watched video as a group and worked out off the ice.
"We need every ounce of energy we can (get)," Head Coach Dave Tippett said, when asked to explain why only three players skated on Monday. "We look at it almost like a playoff mode. You just can’t waste energy right now. We need to have all the energy we can for the game."
Center Martin Hanzal, who left Sunday’s game in the third period because of a lower-body injury, will not play in this game. He is considered day-to-day.
Center Antoine Vermette has scored five of his 21 goals this season against the Canucks.
Canucks: Vancouver got off to a fast start Sunday by grabbing a 2-0 lead before surrendering four unanswered goals. The loss left the Canucks 1-8-1 in their past 10, but Head Coach John Tortorella is keeping the faith.
"We need to keep believing as an organization," Tortorella said. "I'm not down. Sure you'd like to win a game and maybe get the five out of six (points on the homestand) before you go on the road, but it changes quickly. We're still in the middle of it."
Daniel Sedin, who is tied with twin brother Henrik for the team lead in scoring with 40 points, suffered a leg injury Sunday and reportedly could be out at least three weeks.
The Canucks called up forward Darren Archibald from Utica of the American Hockey League on Monday.
Who's hot: Coyotes defenseman Keith Yandle has points in four of his past five games (one goal, four assists), and is three assists away from reaching the 200 career assists mark. Only five defensemen in Coyotes/Jets franchise history notched 200 or more assists.
Injury report: Coyotes center Martin Hanzal (lower body) is questionable... Canucks forward Daniel Sedin is expected to be sidelined for three weeks. Forward Mike Santorelli (right shoulder surgery) and defensemen Yannick Weber (upper body) and Andrew Alberts (concussion) are on injured reserve.
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