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Preview: Coyotes vs. Ducks

Arizona is hosting Anaheim on Monday night at Gila River Arena

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

GLENDALE - The Coyotes will conclude a five-game stretch vs. Pacific Division opponents when they host the Anaheim Ducks on Monday night. The puck drops at 7 p.m. AZ time at Gila River Arena.

Arizona (20-30-7) will be looking to bounce back from a 4-1 home loss to San Jose on Saturday. The Coyotes posted a 2-2-0 record vs. four division foes last week with wins over Calgary and Los Angeles and losses to Edmonton and the Sharks. For the season, Arizona is 8-12-5 vs. Pacific Division teams, including 0-2-1 against the Ducks.

Mike Smith is expected to start in goal after a mediocre outing on Saturday in which he allowed four goals on 33 shots.

Forward Radim Vrbata, who leads the team with 40 points, has notched one assist in each of the past five games, but he has not scored a goal in the past 11 games.

Center Martin Hanzal, who turned 30 years old on Monday, notched his team-leading 15th goal on Saturday. He's one goal shy of tying his career high for goals in one season set in 2009-10. 

Video: Martin Hanzal discusses turning 30

"They are a big, heavy team and they have a playoff mentality as they fight for position," Hanzal said of the Ducks, whom he has battled 46 times since coming into the NHL in 2007. "I think it's going to be a really physical game."

The Coyotes will again play minus rookie Lawson Crouse, whom they placed on the injured-reserve list this weekend. Crouse suffered a lower-body injury vs. Pittsburgh on Feb. 11 and hasn't played since.

"I asked him if he was close to 100 percent, and he said he's a lot closer today than he has been the last few days," Head Coach Dave Tippett said. "(He's) moving in the right direction, so I wouldn't rule him out for the rest of the week today ... We'll see where it goes."

Meanwhile, backup goalie Louis Domingue remains day-to-day with a lower-body injury. Marek Langhamer will serve as Smith's backup for a third straight game.

Video: Dave Tippett previews Monday's game vs. Ducks

Anaheim (31-19-10), which has outscored the Coyotes, 11-3, in three games this season, played Sunday night at home and beat Los Angeles 1-0. Defenseman Josh Manson scored the lone goal and goalie John Gibson made 24 saves.

Backup goalie Jonathan Bernier likely will start vs. the Coyotes for the second time this season. Bernier stopped all 26 shots he faced against Arizona on Jan. 14 in Anaheim's 3-0 victory at Gila River Arena.

Center Ryan Kesler leads the Ducks with 44 points. Captain Ryan Getzlaf is one point behind him, despite missing seven games because of injury. Getzlaf has notched 13 points (four goals, nine assists) in 17 games since returning to action on Jan. 12.

Center Rickard Rakell leads the team and ranks tied for third in the Pacific Division with 22 goals. Only LA's Jeff Carter (29) and San Jose's Brent Burns (27) have scored more than Rakell and Edmonton's Leon Draisaitl (22).

Center Antoine Vermette will not play as he continues to serve a 10-game suspension for abuse of an official. 

Video: Jakob Chychrun previews Monday's vs. Ducks



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Domi - Hanzal - Vrbata

Perlini - Dvorak - Doan

Rieder - Martinook - White

McGinn - Burmistrov - Jooris


Ekman-Larsson - Schenn

Goligoski - Murphy

Chychrun - Connauton




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