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Coyotes missing key players vs. Bruins

Wednesday, 12.28.2011 / 8:39 PM

By Jerry Brown - Correspondent / At the Rink blog

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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 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.
Quote of the Day

It's an incredible feeling just to see it go in and see the Joe go pretty crazy.  Ever since the introduction there, I was kind of feeling the nerves, and to put that one home, I started to feel comfortable and I thought my play started to pick up.

— Nineteen-year-old Red Wings forward Dylan Larkin after scoring a goal in his NHL debut
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