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Game Preview: Jackets, Coyotes meet for return engagement in Arizona

by Katie Foglia / Columbus Blue Jackets

The Arizona Coyotes are in the midst of a six-game home stand that began on Dec. 11 against the Minnesota Wild.

Their last game was one day later, on Dec. 12, against the Carolina Hurricanes. Carolina took a three-goal lead, but Arizona battled back and Connor Murphy scored at 19:44 of the third to push the game into overtime.

But, less than a minute into overtime, Victor Rask notched the game-winner and Carolina picked up the two points in a 5-4 victory.

Anders Lindback has taken over as the Coyotes’ starting goaltender while Mike Smith recovers from a core muscle surgery over the next few months.

Other news: Coyotes GM Don Maloney announced on Tuesday that the Coyotes acquired forward Christian Thomas from the Montreal Canadiens in exchange for forward Lucas Lessio.

With Jackets’ No. 1 goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky out, rookie Joonas Korpisalo and backup Curtis McElhinney have been sharing responsibilities in between the pipes for Columbus. 

Almost exactly one month ago, these two teams met for a Saturday night showdown at Nationwide Arena.

After a fast start, the Jackets were leading 2-0 just 5:13 into the game but had to hang on to keep the game tied through two periods. The Jackets scored three goals in the third period to make it a 5-2 final score in favor of the home team.

Goals scored by William Karlsson (2), Ryan Johansen, Boone Jenner and Brandon Saad all lead to the Jackets' first win of the season at the home barn.

Bobrovsky certainly did his part, making 27 saves and helping the Jackets to another perfect night (5-for-5) on the penalty kill, which has rebounded nicely under the direction of John Tortorella.

The Jackets are 20-26-6 in the all-time series against the Coyotes, and 4-2-0 in the last six (including the aforementioned win on Nov. 14).

For this match-up, the player to watch is rookie Max Domi. The 20-year-old is in the midst of his first NHL season, and currently leads the Coyotes with 25 points (10 G, 15 A).

The left winger is a prime example of the team’s effort to inject some youth to its lineup. Domi adds speed, skill and energy into the roster, and knows what it takes to make an impact at the highest level of hockey.

Domi’s dad, Tie, is a former NHLer who had a 16-year career playing with the Toronto Maple Leafs, New York Rangers and the Winnipeg Jets.

Max Domi was selected by Arizona as the No. 12 overall pick during the 2013 NHL Draft. He played the previous few seasons with the London Knights of the Ontario Hockey League (OHL) before breaking into the NHL at the start of the 2015-16 season.

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