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Preview: Coyotes vs. Canucks

Arizona is seeking its third consecutive win

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

Coyotes vs. Canucks Preview

Coyotes vs. Canucks Preview

Coyotes players Luke Schenn, Brendan Perlini and Christian Fischer discuss the key story lines regarding Thursday's home game vs. Vancouver

  • 03:40 •

GLENDALE - The Coyotes will try to stretch their winning streak to a season-high three games on Thursday night when they host the Vancouver Canucks. The puck drops at 7 p.m. Arizona time at Gila River Arena.

Arizona (15-26-6) has had four two-game winning streaks this season but failed to win a third game each time.

"We have to play as hard as we can," Head Coach Dave Tippett said. "We're looking to build on some of the successes, and it's not whether it's home or the road, it's playing the right way and finding the results we want. Obviously you love playing in front of your home fans. But our success lately has come from how we've played, not where we've played, and we have to continue that at home tonight."

He added: "There's a lot of parts to our game that are finally stabilizing and it's getting us some results. .. We've had two good practices (on Tuesday and Wednesday) and guys are in good spirits. We've got one more game before the break. We want to make sure we play well."

Video: Dave Tippett previews Thursday's game vs. Canucks

In addition to back-to-back wins, Arizona has won four of its past five home games.

"Guys are playing a little bit looser right now and it's good," defenseman Alex Goligoski said. "There's a little less thinking out there as things kind of progress, and guys are more comfortable. I think that's been part of it. The other part of it is consistency. We're just trying to look to be consistent every shift, every period ... I think it's definitely trending in the right direction."

Video: Alex Goligoski discusses the team

Mike Smith is expected to start in goal in the team's final game before the NHL All-Star break this weekend. Smith will represent the Coyotes at the All-Star game in Los Angeles.

Rookie Christian Fischer has scored one goal in each of his first two NHL games, a first in Coyotes/Jets history.

"Two games and two wins is awesome. But we have a lot to work on," Fischer said. "We've had two days of practice to work on things so we can keep the momentum going."

Center Alexander Burmistrov has chipped in five assists in his first five games with Arizona. 

"We've been trying to put a lot of pucks to the net and when the puck starts going in, guys find their rhythm and their confidence," Tippett said. "Our center ice has stabilized. Burmistrov has helped. He's a creative player with good skill, exactly what we expected."

Captain Shane Doan didn't practice with teammates on Wednesday thanks to an upper-body injury he suffered on Monday. He is expected to play on Thursday. So is forward Jordan Martinook, who's missed the past two games because of an upper-body injury.

Vancouver (23-20-6) beat Colorado, 3-2, on Wednesday night to move into the second wild-card spot in the Western Conference's playoff field.

Sven Baertschi scored two goals in that game for the Canucks, who are 4-6-0 in the second game of back-to-back games this season.

Goaltender Ryan Miller, who did not play vs. the Avs, is expected to play vs. Arizona. Miller is 11-1-0 with a 1.40 goals against average and a .954 save percentage with two shutouts vs. the Coyotes.

Forward Henrik Sedin, who recently notched the 1,000th point of his career, will enter the game with a six-game point streak. He co-leads the team with 32 points and leads the team with 21 assists.

Forward Bo Horvat, who is headed to the All-Star Game this weekend, is Vancouver's top goal scorer with 14. Like Sedin, he has 32 points.



TV: FOX Sports Arizona Plus

Radio: ESPN Phoenix 620 AM



Rieder - Hanzal - Vrbata

Perlini - Dvorak - Doan

McGinn - Burmistrov - Fischer

Crouse - Martinook - White


Ekman-Larsson - Schenn

Goligoski - Stone

Chychrun - Murphy





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