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Preview: Coyotes at Flames

Arizona will have Mike Smith and Martin Hanzal in lineup vs. Calgary

by Dave Vest @davest4yotes / Coyotes Sr. Director of News Content

ARI at CGY: Keys to the Game

Coyotes players preview Wednesday's game at Flames

From Calgary, Coyotes players Shane Doan, Michael Stone and Brad Richardson offer pregame insight into tonight's game at the Flames

  • 02:26 •

The Coyotes will begin a two-game road trip on Wednesday night when they take on the Calgary Flames at the Scotiabank Saddledome. The puck drops at 8 p.m. Arizona time.

Arizona (5-9-0) will be looking to snap a two-game losing skid in which it has scored just three goals.

Goalie Mike Smith, who hasn't played since suffering a lower-body injury during the second game of the season on Oct. 18, will return to the lineup for this game. So will center Martin Hanzal, who has missed the past five games because of a lower-body injury. The Coyotes sent goalie Justin Peters and center Christian Dvorak to the American Hockey League on Tuesday to make room on the roster for Smith and Hanzal.

The Coyotes need a morale lift after losing two straight games at home to Winnipeg and Boston.

"They're two good veteran players," Head Coach Dave Tippett said. "Anytime you get your No. 1 goalie back, that gives your club a boost. And Marty Hanzal, we know the importance he has on our team as a centerman just to stabilize us in that position."

Regarding Smith's return, Tippett said Smith is champing at the bit.

"We're not going to put him in a bad situation," Tippett said. "He fully expects to play well. We told him we were going to play him in one of these two games, and he said he was ready and he wants the first game, so that's a good sign." 

Video: Dave Tippett discusses upcoming game vs. Flames

Radim Vrbata will enter the game leading the team with six goals and looking to extend a four-game point streak. He is tied with David Ellett for 16th place on the franchise's all-time point list with 299.

Captain Shane Doan has 552 assists and needs just one more to tie Thomas Steen for most helpers in franchise history. Doan also is just three goals shy of 400.

Doan said the Coyotes need Hanzal back to help the struggling offense.

"He's the guy that pushes everything along on the power play and penalty kill," Doan said. "He's our No. 1 centerman. He does so many things so well. He's our most important forward. To have him back is huge." 

Calgary (6-10-1) will be seeking a second consecutive win after beating Minnesota, 1-0, on Tuesday at the Xcel Energy Center. Backup goalie Chad Johnson stopped all 27 shots he faced and Johnny Gaudreau scored the lone goal.

Gaudreau suffered a broken finger in the game and will not play vs. the Coyotes.

Johnson will start back-to-back games.

"I thought he made some real good key saves at key times," Head Coach Glen Gulutzan told reporters. "I don't think he was overloaded. We did a real good job of limiting the second shots. He did a fantastic job of making the big save and getting the first shot. We're going to go with him."s so many things so well. He's our most important forward. To have him back is huge." 

The Flames, who are 8-2-0 vs. the Coyotes in the past 10 meetings in Calgary, rank next to last in the NHL in goals allowed with 58. Only Philadelphia has given up more goals (60).

 

Rookie Matthew Tkachuk, the son of former Coyotes captain Keith Tkachuk, has notched three goals and three assists in his first season. The Flames picked the 18-year-old left wing with the sixth overall selection at this year's NHL Draft.

READ OFFICIAL GAME NOTES

BROADCAST INFO:

TV: FOX Sports Arizona Plus

Radio: ESPN Phoenix 620 AM 

COYOTES PROJECTED LINEUP VS. FLAMES:

Forwards

Domi - Hanzal - Vrbata

Rieder - Martinook - Duclair

McGinn - Richardson - Doan

Crouse - Dauphin - White

Defensemen

Ekman-Larsson - Stone

Goligoski - DeAngelo

Connauton - Schenn

Goalies

Smith

Domingue

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