By Dave Vest
The Coyotes will conclude a five-game homestand tonight with a game against the Vancouver Canucks at Jobing.com Arena. The puck drops at 8 p.m. (Arizona time).
Phoenix (39-22-5) will enter the game in fourth place in the Western Conference standings and with a two-game winning streak. In those victories, the Coyotes outscored Colorado and Anaheim 7-1.
, who set a franchise mark by winning his 34th game of the season on Saturday, is expected to be back in goal tonight for Phoenix. Next up for Bryzgalov is the team’s record for shutouts in a season, which is held by Nikolai Khabibulin, who posted eight in 1998-99. Bryzgalov has seven.
Center Robert Lang likely will miss his second consecutive game because of a lower-body injury. Lang, who ranks tied for eighth on the team with 29 points, hasn’t practiced with teammates all week.
The Coyotes last played the Canucks on Jan. 7 and lost 4-0 at General Motors Place.
“They’re going to get their opportunities (to score) but it was the second and third ones that beat us last game against them,” Coyotes defenseman Ed Jovanovski
said. “Overall, I think it’s a huge game for us. We head out on the road for four games so (it would be) nice to get a win before we head out.”
Vancouver (41-23-2) has won four of the five games it has played – all on the road – since the Olympics ended, including a come-from-behind 6-4 victory over Colorado on Tuesday night.
The Canucks were behind, 4-3, after two periods vs. the Avs but rallied to win for the 10th time in a game they trailed after 40 minutes.
“They have some people that can turn a game around very quickly,” Coyotes Head Coach Dave Tippett said. “...If you’re going into it with a thought process of not having to play 60 minutes to win (against them) you’d be totally wrong.”
Goalie Roberto Luongo started Tuesday’s game and allowed three goals on 10 shots in the first period. If Canucks Head Coach Alain Vigneault elects to rest Luongo tonight, the Coyotes will face Andrew Raycroft (7-4-0, 2.32 goals-against average).