COYOTES (1-2-0) at RED WINGS (2-1-0)
TV: NHLN-US, FS-A, FS-D
Season series: This is the first meeting of the season between the Phoenix Coyotes and the Detroit Red Wings. The Coyotes will host the rematch on Oct. 19. Detroit took two of three games against Phoenix in 2012-13, with Henrik Zetterberg leading all players with five points (all assists) in those three games.
Big story: Both teams are coming off tough losses. The Coyotes are looking to recover from a 6-1 thumping against the New York Islanders on Tuesday when they visit the Red Wings, who are hoping to rebound from their first loss of the season, a 4-1 road decision to the Boston Bruins.
Coyotes: Lengthy road trips are typical of every NHL season. But not every team starts the season with the kind of cross-country trek the Coyotes are currently on. Phoenix opened the season with a 4-1 home win over the New York Rangers before embarking on a season-long five-game road trip. It started with a 4-1 loss to the San Jose Sharks on Saturday. Three nights later, goaltender Mike Smith was pulled after surrendering five goals on 20 shots in just two periods.
Traveling to Joe Louis Arena in Detroit isn't likely to make things much easier for the Coyotes.
"We're beating ourselves right now," coach Dave Tippett said Wednesday. "Teams have played well [against us], but I'd like to see what we can do."
Phoenix will be making some lineup changes after recalling Tim Kennedy and Brandon Yip from their American Hockey League affiliate in Portland. Paul Bissonette is also eligible to return after serving a three-game suspension.
Red Wings: After winning their first two games of the season, the Red Wings fell to the Boston Bruins 4-1 on Saturday. The Wings penalty kill allowed two power-play goals in four Boston opportunities as the Bruins fired 37 shots at goaltender Jimmy Howard. After five days off, Detroit should be rested and ready to bounce back.
"We know what it's going to take," Howard said. "We've been through these [kinds of games] for years. It's early in the season, there's no reason to get down about it, beat yourself up. Put it behind you and get ready for Phoenix on Thursday night."
After facing the Coyotes, Detroit welcomes the Philadelphia Flyers to town on Saturday before making a return trip to Boston two days later.
Who's hot: Radim Vrbata has had an impressive start to the season for the Coyotes, with three goals and one assist in three games. ... Zetterberg celebrated his 33rd birthday Wednesday and has two goals and an assist through three games.
Injury report: Derek Morris (upper body) is questionable for Phoenix after missing the team's loss to the Islanders Tuesday. Rostislav Klesla (concussion) remains on injured reserve. … Patrick Eaves (knee), Darren Helm (back) and Jordin Tootoo (shoulder) are all out for Detroit, while backup goalie Jonas Gustavsson is questionable with a strained groin.
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