The Coyotes will play the second game of a six-game road trip on Thursday night when they take on the Montreal Canadiens at the Bell Centre. The puck drops at 4:30 p.m. Arizona time.
Quebec native Louis Domingue will start in goal in place of Mike Smith, who suffered a lower-body in Tuesday's 7-4 loss at Ottawa. Smith is considered day-to-day, but he left the team on Thursday to return to Arizona to consult with team doctors.
"They'll continue to evaluate where he's at," Coyotes Head Coach Dave Tippett said. "He was in good spirits this morning. We'll just see where it goes the next few days ... We know that Louis can do the job. He proved that last year (so) there should be no hesitation there whatsoever. Louis was going to jump in and play games for us anyway. This is why you have good depth in your goaltending, and we have a lot of confidence in Louis.
Arizona (1-1-0) will be looking to play better defense than it has in its first two games; opponents are averaging five goals per game.
Offensively, the Coyotes need second-year NHLers Max Domi and Anthony Duclair to start contributing points. They've combined for just one in the first two games - an assist by Domi. The pair skated together on a line with center Martin Hanzal at Wednesday's practice. Duclair, a Quebec native, has notched five points (one goal, four assists) in four career games vs. Montreal.
Video: Anthony Duclair discusses playing in Montreal
Jordan Martinook and Oliver Ekman-Larsson are leading the Coyotes in goals with two each. Martinook and Alex Goligoski are the top point producers with three each.
The Coyotes have won two games in a row in Montreal, both by a 3-2 score. The first of those came Feb. 1, 2015 when Domingue earned his first NHL win in his first NHL start.
"It's one of those things where the whole experience has that adrenaline rush to it where you don't remember the process, but you remember the end, and the end was great," Domingue said
Video: Louis Domingue discusses replacing injured Mike Smith
Rookie Laurent Dauphin grew up in Repentigny, a suburb about 20 miles north of Montreal. Tonight he will play his first NHL game at the Bell Centre.
"It's a dream to play here when you're a kid," Dauphin said. "It's a big thing. It was always a good night when we'd come watch the Montreal Canadiens, and now I'm playing. It's going to be fun."
Montreal (2-0-1) last played on Tuesday and posted a convincing 4-0 win over Pittsburgh in its home opener.
Backup goalie Al Montoya made 36 saves vs. the Penguins in place of Carey Price, who has missed the start of the season because of the flu. Price, a cousin of Coyotes captain Shane Doan, practiced Wednesday and will play on Thursday for the first time in 331 days. He missed most of last season because of injury.
"I lost about seven or eight pounds," Price told reporters about his bout with the flu. "Everybody's probably had the flu before so you kind of know it takes a couple of days before you get your energy back, especially playing sports."
Montoya, who played his first five NHL games for the Coyotes in 2008-09, stopped 101 of 105 shots faced in the first three games of the season to lead the NHL with a .962 save percentage.
Jeff Petry leads the Canadiens with four points (two goals, two assist) after three games. Newcomer Shea Weber has notched two assists in his first three games with the Habs.
Like the Coyotes, the Canadiens are auditioning an 18-year-old defenseman. Mikhail Sergachev, whom Montreal selected ninth overall in this year's NHL Draft, played 8:30 on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, Jakob Chychrun, Arizona's 18-year old defenseman from this year's draft class (16th pick overall), likely will be back in the lineup after sitting out Tuesday's game at Ottawa.
READ OFFICIAL GAME NOTES:
TV: FOX Sports Arizona
Radio: ESPN Phoenix 620 AM
COYOTES PROJECTED LINEUP VS. CANADIENS:
Domi - Hanzal - Duclair
Rieder - Strome - Doan
Dauphin - Dvorak - Vrbata
Martinook - Richardson - White
Ekman-Larsson - Schenn
Goligoski - Murphy
Chychrun - McBain