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Game #50 Preview: Arizona at Vancouver

The Coyotes face the Canucks for the first time this season as two games remain before the All-Star break

by Alex Kinkopf @AEKinkopf / Game Preview

GAME #50: ARIZONA (26-18-5) at VANCOUVER (25-18-4)

8:00 PM MST - Rogers Arena | Vancouver, BC

TV: Fox Sports Arizona Plus (Matt McConnell, Tyson Nash, Todd Walsh)

Radio: Fox Sports 910 AM Phoenix (Bob Heethuis)

Referees: Gord Dwyer #19, Kendrick Nicholson #30

Linesmen: Ryan Gibbons #58, Bevan Mills #53

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ARIZONA AT VANCOUVER

The Coyotes tonight play their second-to-last game prior to the All-Star break as they take on the Vancouver Canucks at Rogers Arena, marking the first of four scheduled meetings between the teams this season.

Arizona will return to Rogers Arena on March 4; Vancouver will visit Gila River Arena on March 12 and April 2.

Following the Coyotes' two games against the Canucks and Edmonton Oilers on Tuesday, both of whom are included in the jam-packed Pacific Division standings race, they will take a 10-day hiatus until their next game on December 29.

"It's two-fold for me. As a coach, it's a two-game playoff series, it's a playoff series type of thing, I like to think that way," said head coach Rick Tocchet of the team's pre-break two-game trip. "We've got nine days off or something after that. Saying that, it's not devastation if you lose and we're not planning any parades if we win. I still think there's a mindset that these are playoff games."

The Coyotes are coming off of a 6-3 win over the San Jose Sharks on Tuesday night, matching their highest output for goals scored in a single game this season. Four players: Taylor Hall , Phil Kessel , Conor Garland , and Derek Stepan each recorded three points in the win; it was the first time four or more players registered three-plus points in a single game since November 30, 2006.

The Canucks, who open a three-game home stand tonight, are coming off of a 4-0 loss to the Winnipeg Jets on Tuesday. It was Vancouver's third shutout loss of the season and its first since October 19. Vancouver has won six-straight games on home ice.

Adin Hill will make his fifth start of the season, Tocchet confirmed following the morning skate. Brad Richardson has been ruled out after leaving Tuesday's game with a lower-body injury. Forward Michael Chaput was recalled from the Tucson Roadrunners on Wednesday and could make his team debut tonight.

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THREE THINGS

TWO TO GO: The Coyotes are set to play two divisional opponents who are in the thick of the Pacific's top-five grouping that sits within three points of each other. "Playing Edmonton and Vancouver before the break is a good thing, I think it's a good thing for our team," Tocchet said. "Two division games, we're on the road in some hostile environments, this is the stuff where if you want to go to the next level, you've got to go into these buildings and win in these types of environments."

HOME WRECKERS: The Coyotes will carry their second-ranked road record with them into Vancouver with a plan of snapping the Canucks' six-game home winning streak at Rogers Arena. Arizona's 14 road wins and 31 road points are second to only the Washington Capitals' 17 wins and 35 points.

TRENDING: Recent match-ups against the Canucks have fared well for the Coyotes, who have earned points in nine of the teams' last 10 meetings (8-1-1) dating back to January 26, 2017. The Coyotes are 5-1-0 at home and 3-0-1 on the road against Vancouver during that stretch. Tonight marks the first regular season meeting between the teams in 322 days.

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LAST TIME AROUND

FEBRUARY 28, 2019 - ARIZONA (5) vs. VANCOUVER (2)

Brad Richardson scored four goals for the first time in his NHL career, doing so with two in the first, one in the second, and one in the third in a 5-2 Coyotes win over the Canucks in the teams' previous meeting on February 28 at Gila River Arena.

The win, at the time, was the Coyotes' fifth-in-a-row. Darcy Kuemper stopped 37 of the 39 shots he faced in the victory.

Arizona finished with a 4-0-0 record against the Vancouver last season.

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NUMBER TO KNOW

THIRTY-SIX (36)

Taylor Hall has been red-hot, simply put. In his past two games, the 28-year-old forward has five points (3G, 2A) and is almost scoring at a point-per-game pace in a Coyotes uniform. Since being acquired on December 16, Hall has 13 points (6G, 7A) in 14 games with Arizona.

Against tonight's opponent, the Vancouver Canucks, Hall's gone above and beyond a point-per-game production rate, registering 36 points (10G, 26A) in 35 career games against the Canucks.

Hall is coming off of a three-point performance (2G, 1A) against the San Jose Sharks on Tuesday night.

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QUICK HITS

  • Phil Kessel has 19 points (8G, 11A) in 19 career games against the Canucks.
  • The Coyotes are 18-3-0 in games this season when Carl Soderberg records a point.
  • The Canucks' 41 power play goals are the third-most in the NHL.
  • Christian Fischer is one game shy of becoming the eighth Coyotes player to appear in his 200th NHL game this season.
  • Clayton Keller leads the Coyotes in road scoring with 18 points (7G, 11A).
  • Elias Pettersson leads the Canucks in goals (21) and points (48).
  • Arizona owns a 79-92-20-8 all-time record against Vancouver.

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Lead Photo Credit: Derek Cain - Icon Sportswire via Getty Images // Footer Photo Credit: Derek Cain - Icon Sportswire via Getty Images // GIF Highlight Footage: Fox Sports Arizona

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