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Preview: Coyotes at Flames

Arizona will play its final game of 2016 on New Year's Eve

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

Coyotes at Flames preview

Coyotes at Flames preview

Radim Vrbata, Louis Domingue and Oliver Ekman-Larsson offer pre-game insight into Saturday's game at Calgary

  • 02:26 •

The Coyotes will play their final game of 2016 when they take on the Calgary Flames at the Scotiabank Saddledome on New Year's Eve. The puck drops at 8 p.m. Arizona time.

Arizona (11-20-5) will enter the game looking to end a season-high six-game losing streak, which includes a homestand that featured five regulation losses.

Special teams likely will play a key role in deciding the outcome of this game considering the Flames and Coyotes rank first and second, respectively, in the NHL in penalty minutes per game. Calgary spends an average of 12:14 in the box, and Arizona spends 11:53.

Louis Domingue, who last started a game on Dec. 5, is expected to play in place of Mike Smith, who has started the past 12 games.

"We just decided we wanted a change in there and to give 'Smitty' a break," Head Coach Dave Tippett said. "Louis's been anxious to play. He's worked hard in practice, so hopefully he gives us a good game."

Video: Dave Tippett previews Saturday's game at Calgary

Forward Radim Vrbata leads Arizona in scoring with nine goals, 15 assists and 24 points.

Forward Anthony Duclair has scored a goal in each of the past two games to bring his season total to three. He scored 20 goals as a rookie last season.

The Coyotes will again play minus fourth-line winger Ryan White, who is nursing a lower-body injury. White did not accompany the team to Calgary. Neither did defenseman Kevin Connauton. Arizona on Friday loaned him to its American Hockey League affiliate in Tucson for the weekend on a conditioning assignment. He played for Tucson on Friday night and notched a goal, an assist and a team-high six shots on goal in a 5-2 loss to San Antonio.

Forward Max Domi will miss his 11th game in a row because of a hand injury he suffered vs. the Flames on Dec. 8. The Coyotes are 3-7-0 without Domi in the lineup. He'll likely be out for another month.

Calgary (19-17-2) is looking to rebound from a 3-1 home loss to Anaheim on Thursday, in which the Flames surrendered two power-play goals.

"We've got to stay out of the box,'' center Matt Stajan told the Flames web site. "We can't keep playing the way we have most of the season ... We're taking lots of penalties and if you do you're going to be behind the 8-ball all night."

The Flames won the first three games of a five-game season series against the Coyotes, and outscored Arizona, 8-4, in those victories.

Forward Matthew Tkachuk, the son of former Coyotes captain Keith Tkachuk, has notched at least one point in five consecutive games. The 19-year-old ranks sixth in the NHL - and first among rookies - in penalty minutes with 64.

Goalie Chad Johnson has given up 11 goals in his past three starts - all losses. His last victory came three weeks ago vs. Winnipeg at home.

The Flames are hoping to have defenseman Dougie Hamilton back in the lineup. He missed Thursday's game vs. Anaheim because of illness. Hamilton has notched one goal and one assist in three games vs. Arizona this season.



TV: FOX Sports Arizona Plus

Radio: ESPN Phoenix 620 AM 


Tweet from @ArizonaCoyotes: Tonight's projected lineup. #CGYvsARI

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