The Red Wings will have MacDonald make his first NHL start in goal this season tonight against the Coyotes. With starter Jimmy Howard out with a broken right index finger and Conklin struggling in the first period in Edmonton on Saturday, MacDonald came on for the final two periods and overtime to stop 22 of 23 shots and give his team a chance to steal a point in the 5-4 loss to the Oilers.
Stuart missed the morning skate with a touch of the flu but is expected to go. Mike Commodore would be the replacement if Stuart is a scratch.
The Coyotes are looking for a second big win in three days after Saturday’s 5-3 win over San Jose. Each of Phoenix’s top six forwards had two-point games and Smith bounced back from a back loss to Anaheim with 32 saves. With Morris back in the lineup, the Coyotes are missing only defenseman David Schlemko, who is out for the season following foot surgery.
The groove of being behind a bench is going to be interesting at first, but thank God we have a few exhibition games to get rid of those cobwebs. Overall the excitement of it all and the freshness and coming back refreshed, all those things are going to be assets. If [the players] come ready to give their best effort in practice and games, good things are going to happen. I'm always looking for results. It's not always on the scoreboard. It's winning and building something.
— Bryan Trottier on making his return to coaching as an assistant with the Sabres