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Coyotes to Start Greiss vs. Penguins

Tuesday, 03.25.2014 / 12:42 PM | Dave Vest

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Coyotes to Start Greiss vs. Penguins
Phoenix Coyotes vs. Pittsburgh Penguins

COYOTES (34-26-12) at PENGUINS (46-20-5)

Season series: This is the second and final game between the Phoenix Coyotes and Pittsburgh Penguins. Mike Ribeiro had a goal and an assist to lead the Coyotes to a 3-1 win at Arena on Feb. 1.

Big story: The Coyotes look to bounce back after managing one point out of their game Monday at the New York Rangers, blowing 2-0 and 3-2 leads before falling 4-3 in overtime. But the far more damaging loss might have come when goalie Mike Smith left in the third period because of a lower-body injury.

On Tuesday morning, Head Coach Dave Tippett said Smith is considered day-to-day.

"He had some tests done this morning and... he'll be evaluated by our doctors when we get home (on Friday)," Tippett said.

Team Scope:

Coyotes: Backup goalie Thomas Greiss had become something of a forgotten man with Phoenix in a tight battle for the Western Conference's second wild-card berth into the Stanley Cup Playoffs. But he'll be called upon in an important game in a tough building.

Smith's start Monday was his 12th in a row and 61st in 72 games this season. Greiss stopped seven of nine shots after entering with 7:34 left in regulation. It was his first appearance since Feb. 28 against the Colorado Avalanche. His last win was a shutout of the Los Angeles Kings on Jan. 30.

"I was scheduled to play this game anyway, so (I'll) just focus on that and worry about that for now," Greiss said after bieng asked to comment and Smith's injury.

Greiss has posted a 1-0-0 record with a 0.95 goals-against average and a .967 save percentage in one career game vs. Pittsburgh.

The Coyotes on Tuesday recalled goaltender Mark Visentin from their affiliate in the American Hockey League. He will back up Greiss vs. the Penguins.

Meanwhile, forward Lauri Korpikoski is expected to miss a second straight game. Korpikoski was hit in the head by a puck at Monday's morning skate in New York and did not play vs. the Rangers.

Center Mike Ribeiro has notched 27 points (nine goals, 18 assists) in 22 career games vs. Pittsburgh.

The Coyotes' lead over the Dallas Stars was cut to a point after the Stars edged the Winnipeg Jets 2-1 on Monday. The Stars also play again Tuesday, when they visit the Chicago Blackhawks.

Penguins: Dating to a home-and-home series with the rival Philadelphia Flyers, it's been a bit of a struggle for Pittsburgh, which is 2-3-1 over its past half-dozen games.

"We're trying to get better," defenseman Matt Niskanen said. "We've been making some adjustments. We're addressing things. We come to the rink to work, to compete."

The Penguins will play minus center Evgeni Malkin who has a foot injury and will be out for at least two weeks.

This is the continuation of a four-game homestand that has seen the Penguins edge the Tampa Bay Lightning in overtime before dropping a 1-0 decision to the St. Louis Blues on Sunday, a game in which goalie Marc-Andre Fleury stopped 26 shots but got no support on the scoreboard.

"We still have a good amount of games left to get it together. I was proud of how we played the last two games," defenseman Rob Scuderi said.

Who's hot: Coyotes defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson has goals in consecutive games and a four-game point streak overall. On Monday, he tied his career high for goals in a season with 13 (2011-12) and reached the 40-point mark for the first time in his career. Fellow defenseman Keith Yandle has one goal and 12 assists in 14 games since the Olympic break. …

Injury report: Smith and Phoenix defenseman David Schlemko (lower-body injury) are out… Malkin, goalie Tomas Vokoun (blood clot), defensemen Kris Letang (stroke) and Paul Martin (foot) and forwards Pascal Dupuis (knee) and Chris Conner (hand) are sidelined.

2013-2014 season series
DateScoreW. Goal
Mar 25 '14 PHX 3 at PIT 2 M. Boedker
Feb 01 '14 PIT 1 at PHX 3 Z. Michalek
K. Yandle7384351-214732
R. Vrbata71202848-422102
M. Boedker73182846-102041
M. Ribeiro72153045-125243
A. Vermette73242044+14074
S. Doan60202343-622104
M. Hanzal60152540-47152
O. Ekman-Larsson71132740+14676
M. Erat6122325+32600
L. Korpikoski5591524-12010
D. Moss7371421-11800
R. Klinkhammer6511920+61711
M. Stone6281220-83821
D. Morris5751217+03900
K. Chipchura7131215+24000
J. Halpern605611-62201
D. Schlemko48189+21800
P. Bissonnette37268+64900
T. Kennedy37268+0400
Z. Michalek51178+92201
C. Murphy26178+41001
B. McMillan14235+3400
R. Klesla25134-32400
J. Szwarz26303-61901
A. Miele7022+4500
C. Summers10101+1900
D. Rundblad12011-3600
C. Brown6000+01700
B. Gormley3000+2200
G. Brule3000-1200
L. Lessio3000-2200
B. Yip2000+0000
M. Smith6227-21-1015918712.64.915
T. Greiss178-5-2324192.35.924
S. Crosby72346195+1042115
E. Malkin60234972+106273
C. Kunitz70323062+2460138
J. Neal49233053+145194
J. Jokinen72183351+101654
M. Niskanen72103141+314936
L. Stempniak63102030-203000
O. Maatta7191928+71431
M. Goc73111324-73501
B. Sutter72111324-41211
P. Dupuis3971320+6800
K. Letang3410818-61461
J. Vitale5311314-12901
B. Gibbons314913+5210
B. Orpik6421113-34600
T. Glass574812-78100
P. Martin3321012-1801
D. Engelland506511-45001
C. Adams724610-124000
J. Megna27538+2202
R. Bortuzzo46088-56700
C. Conner19415-3200
S. Despres30055+42200
T. Pyatt47314-221811
R. Scuderi43044-5000
B. Bennett12123+0000
C. Kobasew32202+11502
H. Zolnierczyk11202+0800
D. Jeffrey10011-2200
M. D'Agostini8011-1400
A. Ebbett7011-1000
B. Dumoulin6011+1400
Z. Sill20000-41200
P. Samuelsson5000-1000
P. Letourneau-Leblond1000+0000
N. Drazenovic1000-1200
M. Fleury5734-17-413315702.37.915
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