By Dave Vest GLENDALE – The Coyotes will look to earn their 10th home victory of the season tonight when they host the Tampa Bay Lightning at Jobing.com Arena. The puck drops at 6 p.m. (Arizona time).
Phoenix (21-19-8) last played on Thursday night at home and lost, 3-2, to Detroit in a shootout.
Mike Smith, who made 33 saves in that loss, is expected to be back in goal tonight against the Lightning, the team he played 118 regular-season games and three playoff games for before signing with the Coyotes last summer.
Smith is looking forward to facing his former teammates tonight.
"I feel good about my game and it's going to be fun to play against those guys that I've played with the last few years," Smith said. "I have a lot of good, fond memories of being in Tampa and a lot of great friendships I've made."
Like Smith, Coyotes leading scorer Radim Vrbata once played for Tampa Bay. He will enter the game looking to snap a three-game goal-scoring drought.
Center Daymond Langkow, who left Thursday’s game vs. Detroit after being hit in the face with a puck, likely will not be back in the lineup for the Coyotes, who have lost nine of the past 11 games vs. Tampa Bay including five of the last six in played in Glendale.
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Tampa Bay (19-23-4), which beat Dallas 2-1 on Friday night, will be looking to win consecutive road games for the first time this season.
While center Steven Stamkos is leading the Lightning - and the NHL - with 31 goals, Tampa Bay is averaging an NHL-worst 3.41 goals against per game.
Martin St. Louis’ two assists on Friday night at Dallas give him 16 helpers in 14 games since returning to the lineup from injury on December 21. It was his seventh multi-assist game of the season and 105th multi-assist game in his career with the Lightning.
Backup goalie Dwayne Roloson is expected to start in goal for Tampa Bay. The 42-year-old netminder has lost six of his past seven decisions (0-6-1).
Coyotes center Kyle Chipchura is riding a career-high three-game point streak with one goal and three assists in that span (see PODCASTS below).
Lightning right wing Teddy Purcell has scored four of his 11 goals in the past five games, including two on Friday night at Dallas.
Coyotes forward Taylor Pyatt is the older brother of Lightning forward Tom Pyatt.
Coyotes center Daymond Langkow was drafted by Tampa Bay fifth overall in the 1995 NHL Entry Draft. He notched 27 goals and 34 assists for the Lightning in 173 games from 1995‐96 through 1998‐99.
Tonight's game will be broadcast on Fox Sports Arizona and XTRA Sports 910 AM at 6 p.m. For in-game updates via Twitter, follow @coyotesgameday.