By Dave Vest
The Coyotes will begin a three-game trip tonight with a game against the Chicago Blackhawks at the United Center. The puck drops at 6 p.m. (Arizona time).
Phoenix (13-9-3) will enter the game looking to snap a two-game losing streak. The Coyotes last won on Nov. 29 when they beat the Blackhawks, 4-1, in Chicago.
The Coyotes are 0-2-0 in December thus far and are facing 14 more games in the next 27 days.
"We had a quick stop back in the sun for a day or two and then back on the road," Coyotes Head Coach Dave Tippett told reporters on Monday. "We knew there was about a two or three week stretch of our schedule here that's a challenge with some of the travel. Every team goes through it. This just happens to be our tough stretch. We've just got to keep finding a way to weather through it."
, whom Tippett pulled from the team’s 4-2 loss to Philadelphia on Saturday after giving up four goals in the first period, will be back in goal tonight.
Winger Ray Whitney
will look to build on his success vs. Chicago this season. Whitney has notched two goals and two assists in the first two games against the Blackhawks.
Defenseman Chris Summers
, whom Phoenix recalled from the American Hockey League on Sunday, will make his season debut in place of Rostislav Klesla
, who suffered a lower-body injury vs. Philadelphia on Saturday. Summers, whom Phoenix selected with the 29th overall pick in the 2006 NHL Entry Draft, played two games for the Coyotes in 2010-11.
Center Kyle Turris
, who needed nine stitches to repair a bloody lip after taking a puck in the face in Saturday's loss to Philadelphia, is expected to play his third game since re-signing with the team nearly two weeks ago.
Tonight’s game is being televised nationally by Versus. Mike 'Doc' Emrick, Eddie Olczyk and Piere McGuire will be the announcers. The Coyotes are scheduled to appear on Versus three more times this season: Feb. 6 vs. Detroit, March 20 at Dallas and April 6 at St. Louis.
|Photo by Getty Images.
The Blackhawks (16-8-3) have captured at least one point in 10 of 12 games played at the United Center this season.
Chicago will enter the game looking to extend its winning streak to three games. The Blackhawks have scored five goals per game during that streak, which included wins over the New York Islanders and the St. Louis Blues.
Forward Marian Hossa recorded his first multi-goal game of the season in Saturday's win over the Blues, netting a shorthanded goal in the second period and a power-play goal in the third. Hossa has scored 399 goals over the course of his NHL career, fifth among active players. His next goal will make him the 85th player in NHL history to reach the 400-goal plateau.
Corey Crawford is expected to start in goal for the Blackhawks. Crawford has won three of his past four starts. His only loss during that span came vs. Phoenix when he allowed four goals on 21 shots.