By Dave Vest The Coyotes will cap a three-game trip to western Canada tonight with a game against the Vancouver Canucks at Rogers Arena. The puck drops at 7 p.m. (Arizona time).
Photo by Getty Images.
Phoenix (9-5-5) will enter the matchup with a league-leading five-game winning streak and gallons of momentum gained by rallying from a 3-0 deficit to beat Edmonton 4-3 in a shootout on Friday.
Coyotes captain Shane Doan will return to the lineup tonight after missing the past seven games because of a lower-body injury. Doan has played in just nine of Phoenix’s 19 games because of the injury and a three-game suspension.
Coyotes center Kyle Turris, who grew up in nearby New Westminster, British Columbia, will not play after being boarded and then hit across the face with a stick within moments during Friday’s game at Edmonton.
Ilya Bryzgalov will start in goal for the Coyotes. He is 6-6-1 vs. Vancouver in his career with a 2.19 goals-against average. The Canucks will counter with Roberto Luongo, who was pulled after giving up four goals in the second period vs. Chicago on Saturday night in a humbling 7-1 defeat.
"A lot of that game gets thrown out and you have to recognize the situation you're in against teams," said Coyotes Head Coach Dave Tippett, who scouted the game in person. "That's a game that sometimes teams have and when you look at a team, you look at their tendencies over a number of games, not just one."
The Canucks (10-6-3) have been outscored 14-5 during a three-game losing streak and have trailed by at least two goals in four consecutive games.
Tonight’s matchup pits two of the NHL’s better faceoff teams against each other. The Canucks will take the ice leading the league in faceoff percentage at 56.9 percent. The Coyotes aren’t far behind; they rank third in the NHL at 53.7 percent. Only two players win more faceoffs than Vancouver’s Manny Malhotra (61.5 percent).
Coyotes left wing Ray Whitney, who leads the team with 14 points, has notched three goals and six assists in the past four games.
Canucks right wing Mikael Samuelsson has notched two goals and three assists in the past five games.
Coyotes defenseman Keith Yandle logged 30:22 of ice time at Edmonton on Friday, breaking the career-high (29:16) he set at Calgary the game before.
Canucks defenseman Keith Ballard, a former fan favorite during his stint with the Coyotes, is listed as day-to-day because of flu-like symptoms.
This game can be seen on Fox Sports Arizona. This game can be heard on KFNN 1510 (AM). A link to the radio broadcast will be provided at phoenixcoyotes.com at 7 p.m.
Click below to listen to Coyotes captain Shane Doan answer questions pitched by Valley media members just before the team left for western Canada.