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Posted On Thursday, 01.19.2012 / 4:14 PM

By Jerry Brown -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - At the Rink blog

Projected lineups for Red Wings, Coyotes

Here's how the lineups could look tonight when the Phoenix Coyotes welcome in the Detroit Red Wings to Jobing.com Arena:

Johan Franzen - Pavel Datsyuk - Todd Bertuzzi
Valtteri Filppula - Henrik Zetterberg - Jiri Hudler
Drew Miller - Darren Helm - Danny Cleary
Cory Emmerton - Justin Abdelkader - Tomas Holmstrom
Nicklas LidstromIan White
Niklas Kronwall - Brad Stuart
Jonathan Ericsson - Jakub Kindl
Jimmy Howard
Ty Conklin

Emmerton and Kindl are back in the lineup, replacing Jan Mursak and Mike Commodore. Howard leads the NHL with 27 wins and has a 1.98 goals-against average, and he's 6-0-1 with a 2.24 GAA in his last seven road starts against the Coyotes. He's won six straight starts overall versus Phoenix.

The Red Wings are 14-2-2 in Phoenix since the start of 2005-06 season.
Ray Whitney - Daymond Langkow - Shane Doan
Lauri Korpikoski - Boyd Gordon - Radim Vrbata
Taylor Pyatt - Marc-Antoine Pouliot - Mikkel Boedker
Raffi Torres - Kyle Chipchura - Gilbert Brule
Keith Yandle - Derek Morris
Oliver Ekman-Larsson - Rostislav Klesla
Michal Rozsival - Chris Summers
Mike Smith
Jason LaBarbera

The Coyotes are 9-8-3 at home this season, but have won their last two home games by a combined score of 11-2.

Martin Hanzal, who has missed the last 12 games with a lower body injury, participated in an optional morning skate on Thursday (the Coyotes played Wednesday night in Anaheim) and is a game-time decision for tonight. His return would result in the juggling of at least three and possibly four lines.
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Posted On Saturday, 01.07.2012 / 8:07 PM

By Jerry Brown -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - At the Rink blog

Aucoin joins Coyotes' injury list

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Adrian Aucoin is enduring a rough month, much like his team.

Aucoin rejoined the Phoenix injury list after taking a deflected puck in the right eye during Thursday's loss to the Los Angeles Kings. He won't play when his former team, the New York Islanders, come to Jobing.com Arena.

Aucoin, who returned to the lineup just over a week ago after missing five games with a lower-body injury, left the ice in pain again when he took a puck deflected off the stick of Los Angeles' Mike Richards in the right eye in the first period. He left the ice and didn't return. The Coyotes lost 1-0 in overtime and enter Saturday with a 1-4-2 record in their last seven games

Derek Morris, who has been a healthy scratch for four straight games, will replace Aucoin in the lineup.

Aucoin joins centers Martin Hanzal (upper body) and Boyd Gordon (lower body) on the injury list. But the Coyotes will get one player back Saturday when another ex-Islander, Raffi Torres, returns from a two-game suspension for his Dec. 31 hit in Minnesota.

The Islanders lost 4-2 in Anaheim on Friday -- and also lost center Marty Reasoner, who suffered a broken right hand when he blocked a shot early in the second period and did not return.

The Coyotes play only their second home game since Christmas during a string that had them playing 10 of 13 games on the road. They head back out on Monday for another three-game Eastern trip -- they visit the New York Rangers, Detroit and Columbus. By next weekend, they will have played 26 of their first 46 games on the road.

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Posted On Wednesday, 12.28.2011 / 8:39 PM

By Jerry Brown -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - At the Rink blog

Coyotes missing key players vs. Bruins

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- The Phoenix Coyotes will play in front of a rare full house tonight at Jobing.com Arena. Too bad they can't say the same thing about their roster.
Goalie Mike Smith and centers Boyd Gordon and Martin Hanzal remain out of the lineup as the Coyotes face the red-hot, defending Stanley Cup champion Boston Bruins before a standing-room-only crowd that's expected to carry a northeastern accent.
Smith is back on the ice but has not taken part in practice since suffering a groin injury a week ago in Florida. Backup Jason LaBarbera, who has given up 10 goals on 76 shots in the three starts he's made in Smith's absence, will make a fourth straight start and face the Bruins for the first time in his eight-year NHL career.
Gordon (lower body) was placed on injured reserve as the Coyotes recalled 2011 Hobey Baker Award winner Andy Miele from Portland of the American Hockey League. Miele is expected to play in his sixth NHL game. Hanzal hasn't been seen since taking a David Backes stick to the head on Saturday night; he's out with an upper body injury.
The Coyotes will also be without veteran defenseman Adrian Aucoin, who will miss his fifth straight game with a lower-body injury. Aucoin took part in the optional skate Wednesday morning and was expected to dress, but was a late scratch. Derek Morris will play in his stead.
Tuukka Rask, who comes into the game with back-to-back shutouts and a 152-minute shutout streak, will make his third straight start as the Bruins go for their seventh straight win. Boston has won nine of its last 10 road games.
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Posted On Wednesday, 12.21.2011 / 6:33 PM

By Jerry Brown -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - At the Rink blog

Coyotes say Mike Smith is day-to-day

Much to the Phoenix Coyotes' relief, it appears goalie Mike Smith wasn't as badly injured as it first appeared.
Smith, who had to be helped from the ice 3:29 into the third period of Tuesday's 2-1 win in Florida, is listed as day-to-day with a lower-body injury. The Coyotes recalled goalie Justin Pogge from Portland for the second time in a week -- five days ago he arrived to sub for backup Jason LaBarbera -- to take Smith's place on the roster.
"He's day to day," Phoenix coach Dave Tippett told Coyotes.com Wednesday in Carolina, where the Coyotes will face the Hurricanes. "He just had a little tweak and we're hoping it's not too serious."
The Coyotes will keep three goalies on the roster. They placed defenseman Adrian Aucoin (lower body) on the injured list to open a spot on the roster.
Smith was credited with the win and improved to 15-10-3, setting a career high in wins. LaBarbera held the Panthers scoreless in the final 16:31, stopping Stephen Weiss of the Panthers on a penalty shot with 24.5 seconds to play -- the puck stopped right on the goal line -- to preserve the win.
Smith was moving from side to side positionally and experienced no contact when he fell face-first to the ice in pain, suffering what appeared to be an upper leg or groin injury. He rolled on the ice in pain before medical personnel reached him and, eventually, helped him from the ice.
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Posted On Thursday, 12.15.2011 / 2:47 PM

By Jerry Brown -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - At the Rink blog

Coyotes hope to end slide vs. Oilers

PHOENIX -- The Phoenix Coyotes will be looking to avoid their first four-game regulation-time losing streak in coach Dave Tippett's tenure tonight when they host the Edmonton Oilers at Jobing.com Arena.

The Coyotes have had only two losing streaks of three games or more since Tippett took over to begin the 2009-10 season. but the Coyotes are 2-5-0 in December and lost their third straight Wednesday, a 4-1 loss in Anaheim on Wednesday. The Coyotes were outscored 13-4 in losses at Detroit, home against Minnesota and at the Ducks, and have been outscored 8-0 in the first period of those games. Phoenix has allowed 13 first-period goals in its last six games, dating to a 4-2 loss against Philadelphia on Dec. 3, when they allowed four goals in the first period.
The Oilers are struggling as well, having won just two of their last eight games (2-5-1), including a 3-0 loss in Calgary on Saturday.

They will get a lift tonight, though, with the addition of Taylor Hall. who hasn't played since suffering a shoulder injury Nov. 26 at Colorado. Hall will play on the second line Thursday, with Shawn Horcoff and Ales Hemsky. Ryan Smyth, who had been playing in Hall's spot, will slide to the third line, alongside ex-Coyote Eric Belanger and Ryan Jones.
Defenseman Corey Potter (knee) also is ready to play after sitting out since Nov. 17 with a knee injury. But Edmonton coach Tom Renney would not confirm at the morning skate whether Potter would make his return Thursday. If Potter does return, he likely would take Colten Teubert's spot in the lineup.
Devan Dubnyk, who was in net for the Oilers' 4-2 loss to Coyotes on Nov. 5, will get the start tonight. Former Coyotes Nikolai Khabibulin didn't play in the loss to the Flames and sat out practice this week, as well, although he said he's not injured -- was just resting.

Sam Gagner - Ryan Nugent-Hopkins - Jordan Eberle
Taylor Hall - Shawn Horcoff - Ales Hemsky
Ryan Smyth - Eric Belanger - Ryan Jones
Ben Eager - Anton Lander - Lennart Petrell

Ladislav Smid - Tom Gilbert
Ryan Whitney - Jeff Petry
Theo Peckham - Colten Teuberg

Devan Dubnyk will start in goal, with Nikolai Khabibulin the backup.

Mikkel Boedker - Daymond Langkow - Shane Doan
Ray Whitney - Martin Hanzal - Radim Vrbata
Taylor Pyatt - Boyd Gordon - Lauri Korpikoski
Raffi Torres  - Kyle Turris - Kyle Chipchura

Keith Yandle - Derek Morris
Oliver Ekman-Larsson - Adrian Aucoin
David Schlemko - Michal Rozsival

Jason LaBarbera will start in goal, with Mike Smith backing him up.

For more on tonight's game, check out the preview here.
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Posted On Thursday, 11.10.2011 / 8:55 PM

By Jerry Brown -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - At the Rink blog

Coyotes play without Langkow; Canadiens minus Cammalleri

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- The Coyotes get one center back tonight, but another will be missing.
Martin Hanzal, who has missed the past two games with a lower body injury, will be back in the lineup tonight as the Coyotes wrap up a three-game homestand against Montreal. Hanzal, who had three goals and seven points in the five games prior to his injury, will fill the middle between wingers Ray Whitney and Radim Vrbata -- a trio that produced seven goals and 17 points in three games before Hanzal went down.
But as Hanzal returns, the Coyotes will be missing center Daymond Langkow, who has been away from the team since Tuesday because of a death in the family. Boyd Gordon, who had a goal and an assist Saturday against Edmonton, skated between wingers Lauri Korpikoski and Shane Doan at Thursday's skate.
Montreal will play without left wing Mike Cammalleri, who suffered a knee-on-knee collision in Tuesday's 3-1 loss to Edmonton.
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Posted On Tuesday, 11.08.2011 / 5:18 PM

By Jerry Brown -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - At the Rink blog

Injured defenseman Rozsival skates for Coyotes

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- For the first time in a month, Phoenix defenseman Michal Rozsival took to the ice Tuesday and skated for about 15 minutes on his own before practice at Jobing.com Arena.

Rozsival, 33, hasn't played since suffering a facial injury on Oct. 8 in the first period of the season opener at San Jose when a slap shot off the stick of Sharks winger Patrick Marleau deflected off another stick and into Rozsival's face. The facial injuries have healed, but the post-concussive symptoms have remained and Rozsival has been unable to skate for the last month.
David Schlemko has stepped into Rozsival's starting spot and played very well. The Coyotes have been carrying only six defensemen for the last two weeks and are about to head into the most daunting stretch of the season, beginning with a five-game road trip that begins, ironically, in San Jose on Saturday. Rozsival isn't anywhere close to playing, but the sight of him back on the ice was a positive step.
"He skated 15 minutes and there seemed to be no ill-effect from that, so we'll continue to ramp that up," coach Dave Tippett said. "It's hard to put any timetable on it, but it's good to see him on the ice. This has been longer that we would have thought, but when your dealing with the concussion syndrome ... I don't think anyone expected Sidney Crosby to be out as long as he has, either. Today was a positive step getting him on the ice, and we hope he can move forward."
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Posted On Saturday, 11.05.2011 / 4:02 PM

By Jerry Brown -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - At the Rink blog

Coyotes search for more offense against hot Oilers

GLENDALE, Ariz. – After being shut out for the second time in seven home games on Thursday night, the Phoenix Coyotes will be looking for an infusion of offense Saturday when they take on one of the NHL’s hottest teams in the Edmonton Oilers.
It won't hurt to have their No. 1 goalie in the lineup either. Mike Smith is 4-0-1 and has allowed only 12 goals, and he will be back between the pipes after sitting out Thursday because the team was playing on back-to-back nights. Jason LaBarbera played well, but couldn't do everything in a 2-0 loss to Pekka Rinne and the Nashville Predators. The Coyotes are now just 3-3-1 at home this season, where they have played seven of their first 12 games and are in the midst of another four-contest homestand.
The Edmonton Oilers are on a six-game winning streak and Nikolai Khabibulin, a Scottsdale resident and the Coyotes goalie for the first four years the team was in Phoenix, is coming off a shutout winThursday in Los Angeles. He will sit out tonight, however, as Edmonton goes with Devan Dubnyk.
The Coyotes had their three-game winning streak smothered by Rinne and the Predators and there will be at least one shake-up to the forwards when Cal O’Reilly, obtained from Nashville a week ago but battling a groin injury, will make his Phoenix debut. To make room for O’Reilly on the active roster, the Coyotes shipped center Andy Miele – who was scoreless but showed promise in a five-game stint with the team – back to Portland of the American Hockey League.
Phoenix coach Dave Tippett said center Martin Hanzal, who missed the loss to the Predators with a lowe- body injury suffered late in Wednesday’s win at Colorado, will be a game-time decision. But the Coyotes have five days off before they play again after tonight and the team could give the valuable Hanzal the full five days to recover.
Kyle Chipchura, who was brought up from Portland on Thursday and played against Nashville, would be the fourth center for Phoenix tonight.
Edmonton, a team picked by many to be among the worst in the League, is tied for second in the Western Conference with an 8-2-2 record and leads the League in goals against with 18 in their first 12 games. Khabibulin has been a big part of that, but the Oilers also lead the League in blocked shots and Ladislav Smid leads all individuals with 45.
Here are the projected lineups for both teams:


Taylor Hall - Ryan Nugent-Hopkins - Jordan Eberle
Ryan Smyth - Shawn Horcoff - Ryan Jones
Magnus Paajarvi - Eric Belanger - Sam Gagner
Ben Eager - Anton Lander - Lennart Petrell

Ladislav Smid - Tom Gilbert
Corey Potter - Jeff Petry
Theo Peckham - Colten Teubert

Devan Dubnyk
Nikolai Khabibulin

Lauri Korpikoski  - Daymond Langkow - Shane Doan
Ray Whitney - Boyd Gordon - Radim Vrbata
Taylor Pyatt - Cal O’Reilly - Mikkel Boedker
Raffi Torres - Kyle Chipchura - Patrick O'Sullivan

Keith Yandle - Derek Morris
Rostislav Klesla - David Schlemko
Oliver Ekman-Larsson - Adrian Aucoin

Mike Smith
Jason LaBarbera
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Posted On Thursday, 11.03.2011 / 4:54 PM

By Jerry Brown -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - At the Rink blog

Projected lineups for Coyotes, Predators

Here's how the lineups could look Thursday night when the Phoenix Coyotes host the Nashville Predators at Jobing.com Arena:

Lauri Korpikoski - Daymond Langkow - Shane Doan
Ray Whitney - Martin Hanzal - Radim Vrbata
Taylor Pyatt - Boyd Gordon - Mikkel Boedker
Raffi Torres - Andy Miele - Patrick O'Sullivan

Keith Yandle - Derek Morris
Rostislav Klesla - David Schlemko
Oliver Ekman-Larsson - Adrian Aucoin

Jason LaBarbera
Mike Smith

Colin Wilson - Mike Fisher - Patric Hornqvist
Sergei Kostitsyn - David Legwand - Martin Erat
Jordin Tootoo - Jerred Smithson - Craig Smith
Matt Halischuk - Blake Geoffrion - Niclas Bergfors

Ryan Suter - Shea Weber
Francis Bouillon - Kevin Klein
Jack Hillen - Jonathon Blum

Pekka Rinne
Anders Lindback
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Posted On Thursday, 11.03.2011 / 4:50 PM

By Jerry Brown -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - At the Rink blog

Coyotes turn to LaBarbera, could miss Hanzal

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- The line of Ray Whitney, Martin Hanzal and Radim Vrbata and the goaltending of Mike Smith have been the major players in a three-game winning streak and a 4-0-1 run that the Phoenix Coyotes take into tonight's game with the Nashville at Jobing.com Arena.
But both ingredients could be missing against the Predators -- one scripted, the other unexpected.
Smith will get the night off after his 3-1 victory over the Avalanche in Colorado on Wednesday. Smith was in goal for the entire 4-0-1 run and allowed only 12 goals in the five games, improving his record to 5-2-1 for the season. Jason LaBarbera, who beat the Predators 5-2 in Nashville on Oct. 13, will get his third start of the season as the Coyotes face their first back-to-back situation of the season.
And while the Whitney-Hanzal-Vrbata line has produced 7 goals and 17 points in the last three games -- including 2 goals by Vrbata, 2 assists by Whitney and 1 helper by Hanzal against the Avalanche -- the trio might be broken up tonight due to injury. Hanzal appeared to suffer an injury late in Wednesday's game. The Coyotes had an optional skate Thursday, but Kyle Chipchura was summoned from AHL Portland and coach Dave Tippett said he would be in the lineup against the Predators, fueling speculation that Hanzal could be a scratch tonight.
Meanwhile, the Predators will get some regulars back in the lineup and have a happy goalie between the pipes.
Forwards Mike Fisher (upper-body injury) and Sergei Kostitsyn (lower-body injury) took part in the morning skate and are expected to return to the lineup against Phoenix for this opening game of a four-game Western road trip.

Goalie Pekka Rinne was given quite a 29th birthday present Thursday, signing a seven-year extension for $49 million, the richest contract in Predators history. Renne, who would have been a restricted free agent at the end of the season, is 5-4-2 so far this year with a 2.50 goals-against average and a .922 save percentage. He will start tonight against the Coyotes.
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We think that Randy is a very good coach. Our players think that Randy is a very good coach. We think that he's going to get the most out of this group. With the addition of the two assistants, a bit of a different dynamic, we're very comfortable that this is a quality coaching staff that's going to maximize the potential of this team.

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