By Dave Vest
The Coyotes will look to extend their point streak to 12 games and their winning streak to six games tonight when they host the Vancouver Canucks at Jobing.com Arena. The puck drops at 7 p.m. (Arizona time).
Phoenix (32-21-9) will enter the game in first place in the Pacific Division standings two points ahead of second-place San Jose, which hosts Philadelphia tonight.
The Coyotes own the third‐longest point streak in the NHL this season behind Boston (15 games) and Vancouver (13 games).
Goalie Mike Smith
, who is riding a career‐high and franchise record 10‐game winning streak is expected to start.
Veteran winger Ray Whitney
has a five-game point streak, with two goals and four assists over that span.
After playing in two games on the road, center Antoine Vermette
will make his home debut for the Coyotes in this game after coming to the team last Wednesday in a trade with Columbus. Click here
to listen to Vermette speak about making his home debut tonight and more.
The Coyotes, whose only loss this month came 2-1 in a shootout at Vancouver on Feb. 13, have outscored opponents 31-16 during this month.
"We've had an awful good month here and managed to push ourselves to the top of the division," Coyotes Head Coach Dave Tippett said. "But I think we all recognize with 20 games left, this is going to be a very hard 20 games. We’ve gotten ourselves in the mix, now we’ve got to find a way to keep ourselves at the top of the mix."
|Photo by Getty Images.
The Canucks (40-16-7), who lead the NHL with 87 points, are hoping to end a six-game trip with a victory after losing 3-2 in overtime to Dallas on Sunday.
Goalie Roberto Luongo is 11-5-1 with three shutouts and a 1.83 goals-against average over his last 17 games vs. Phoenix.
Forwards Henrik and Daniel Sedin rank fifth and eighth, respectively, in the NHL in points with 66 and 63.
New acquisitions Samuel Pahlsson and Zack Kassian are expected to be in the lineup tonight as the Canucks try to beat the Coyotes for a third time in three tries this season.
Vancouver will enter the game slumping on the power play with just four goals in its past 39 tries over 16 games.