By Dave Vest
The Coyotes will play their second of three home games in four nights tonight when they host the Vancouver Canucks at Jobing.com Arena. The puck drops at 7 p.m. (Arizona time).
Phoenix (11-6-3) will enter the game on a high after its resounding 4-2 defeat of Anaheim on Wednesday.
will start in goal for the Coyotes. Smith made 19 saves vs. the Ducks in his most recent outing. Smith is 8-1-1 with a 1.87 goals-against average in his last 10 games. He has only one start against the Canucks - a 2-1 loss on Nov. 6, 2006 while he and Head Coach Dave Tippett were with the Dallas Stars.
Forward Radim Vrbata
will look to continue his goal scoring hot streak; he has netted five in the past three games and 10 in the past 11 games.
"(Vrbata) is a clever guy," Tippett said. "He plays a smart game, finds the openings and creates some opportunities."
Defenseman Keith Yandle
will look to build off what Tippett described as his best game of the season on Wednesday when he notched a goal and an assist.
Center Daymond Langkow
, who recently rejoined the team after taking a personal leave of absence, skated with teammates at Friday's morning skate but is not expected to return to the lineup tonight.
|Photo by Getty Images.
Vancouver (11-9-1) has won three of its past four games. Most recently, the Canucks beat Colorado3-0 on Wednesday to give Head Coach Alain Vigneault his 247th win – the most in franchise history.
Cory Schneider, who stopped all 24 shots vs. the Avs, is expected to make his fourth start in a row tonight ahead of Roberto Luongo, who is healthy.
The Sedin twins, Daniel and Henrik, are leading the Canucks offensively, per usual. In fact, Daniel Sedin is leading the NHL with 18 assists and ranks eighth in the League with 24 points. Henrik is not far behind with 15 assists and 22 points.
The Canucks are excelling on special teams; they rank first in the League in power-play efficiency (25.8 percent) and eighth in penalty killing (86.0 percent).