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Preview: Coyotes vs. Panthers

Arizona is hosting Florida at Gila River Arena on Monday

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

GLENDALE -- The Coyotes will seek a second consecutive victory on Monday night when they host the Florida Panthers. The puck drops at 7 p.m. Arizona time at Gila River Arena.

Arizona (14-26-6) started a five-game homestand with a 5-3 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning on Saturday. Five Coyotes scored a goal in that triumph and goalie Mike Smith made 45 saves.

"We came in and played a strong game the other night," Head Coach Dave Tippett said. "We've got two games before the break. You're at home with some days in between. There should be no reason we don't leave it all on the ice this week."

Smith, who will represent Arizona at the NHL All-Star Game this weekend, will be back in net against the Panthers. 

The Coyotes have not lost in regulation at home to Florida since Dec. 8, 1999, a span on nine games.

Radim Vrbata is leading Arizona in goals (11), assists (22) and points (33). On Saturday, Vrbata claimed sole possession of 10th place on the franchise's list for goals scored. He's netted 148 goals for the Coyotes in 474 games.

"We're confident coming off a good game," said Tobias Rieder, who tied a career high with three points on Saturday. "We have to keep doing the little things right. Our line was buzzing from the get-go and we got a couple of good bounces go our way."

Defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson will enter the game with a seven-game point streak (three goals, four assists) vs. Florida.  

Rookie Lawson Crouse will play against the Panthers for the first time since Florida traded him to Arizona last August.

Video: Crouse discusses playing vs. FLA for first time

"I'd say it's been marked on the calendar for a long time," Crouse said. "… Obviously, that trade caught me a little bit by surprise. But I'm here now and loving it here. Hopefully we can put together a great game and show them what we got."

Florida drafted Crouse 11th overall in 2015 but traded him to Arizona a little over a year later. He played just three exhibtion games for the Panthers.

Defenseman Jakob Chychrun grew up in Florida and rooted for the Panthers. This will be the rookie's first game vs. Florida.

Video: Jakob Chychrun on playing vs. FLA for first time

The Coyotes will again play minus forward Jordan Martinook who is nursing a nagging upper-body injury and is listed as day-to-day.

Florida (20-19-9) has earned just three points over its past five games and has posted a 9-9-8 record under interim Head Coach Tom Rowe. 

Jaromir Jagr, the NHL's oldest player at age 44, has notched four points (two goals, two assists) over his past five games and enters Monday's game with a two-game point streak. 

"He makes me feel old because I was on his line for a while," Tippett, a teammate of Jagr's with the Pittsburgh Penguins in 1992-93, said. "His passion and his skill set is what still sets him apart." 

Defenseman Keith Yandle, who began his NHL career with the Coyotes, will play in his 600th consecutive game tonight. It's the ninth longest games-played streak in NHL history and the second longest active streak behind Anaheim's Andrew Cogliano's 753. 

"We really missed him in our locker room after he left," Tippett said. "He's not only a good player but a great personality, a guy committed to helping the team who also keeps your locker room lively." 

Roberto Luongo, who is one win shy of his 450 in his NHL career, is expected to start in goal.  

Center Vincent Trocheck, who is headed to the NHL All-Star Game for the first time, has produced nine goals and seven assists over his past 13 games, and has notched multi-point games in four of his past seven games. 

The Panthers, who are three points out of a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference, are playing minus Nick Bjugstad, Aleksander Barkov, Alex Petrovic and Jonathan Huberdeau. All are on the injured-reserve list.

Video: Dave Tippett previews Monday's home game vs. Florida

OFFICIAL GAME NOTES

BROADCAST INFO:

TV: FOX Sports Arizona

Radio: Arizona Sports 98.7 FM

COYOTES PROJECTED LINEUP VS. LIGHTNING:

Tweet from @ArizonaCoyotes: Tonight's projected lineup. #FLAvsARI pic.twitter.com/o9dEIITZAp

 

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