Pre-Game Capsule: Coyotes at Canadiensby Dave Vest @davest4yotes / Coyotes Sr. Director of News Content
Coyotes (2-15-3) at Canadiens (8-9-2)
Arizona is looking to end a five-game losing skid on Thursday night vs. the Canadiens in Montreal, where it has earned victories in two of its past three visits. The Coyotes have scored just seven goals during the losing streak.
WHERE: Bell Centre
WHEN: 5:30 p.m. (AZ time)
TV: FOX Sports Arizona
RADIO: ESPN 620 AM
Video: Matt and Tyson on Duclair, Habs
• The Coyotes have posted a 2-1-0 record in their past three games at Montreal, and are 4-3-1 vs. the Canadiens overall since the start of the 2013-14 season.
• Arizona is seeking improvement on special teams, especially on the power play. The Coyotes rank 29th in the NHL in power-play efficiency at 13.6 percent, and are just 1 for 22 over the past eight games.
• Antti Raanta will start in goal for the Coyotes. Raanta, who was pulled from Tuesday's game at Winnipeg after allowing three goals on 13 shots, is 2-0-0 with a 1.99 goals-against average and a .936 save percentage in four career appearances vs. Montreal.
• Anthony Duclair, a native of the Montreal area, is averaging a point per game over five games (one goal, four assists) vs. Montreal. Duclair is trying to work his way back into the lineup; he's been a healthy scratch for six of the past nine games.
Video: Duclair: 'It Falls on Us'
• Defenseman Joel Hanley likely will play his first game for the Coyotes. Arizona recalled Hanley from the American Hockey League on Nov. 5, but he has been a healthy scratch for every game since reporting to the team. Hanley, 26, has played 17 NHL games, all for Montreal, including seven last season. Hanley, a left-handed shot who will wear sweater No. 39, produced six assists during his time with the Canadiens.
• Rookie Clayton Keller, who leads Arizona and all NHL freshmen with 11 goals and 17 points, has not produced a point since scoring a goal vs. Washington on Nov. 6, a span of four games.
"He's starting to get the best defensive guys against him right now," Head Coach Rick Tocchet said. "He's not really surprising the League so we've got to try to find him some help and he's got to stick with it too. You can't get frustrated."
• Niklas Hjalmarsson is expected to miss his ninth straight game because of an upper-body injury. Hjalmarsson has been skating with teammates during this four-game road trip and could return to the lineup before it ends in Toronto on Monday.
• Having won four of its past six games, Montreal is slowly recovering from a poor start to the season. Rookie Charlie Lindgren, who is filling in for injured goalies Carey Price and Al Montoya, hasn't allowed more than two goals in any of his five starts. He owns a 3-1-1 record with a 1.39 goals-against average and a .957 save percentage. Price had targeted this game for his return from a lower-body injury, but that plan reportedly has been scrapped. Meanwhile, Max Pacioretty and Brendan Gallagher both have notched seven goals and five assists to co-lead the Canadiens in offense.
Video: Tocchet: 'Everyone's Tired of Losing'
• COYOTE BITES:
• "Right now we have to worry about our consistency. I don't think we've quite figured out how to be consistent, and that's a mainstay if you want to play in this league, and that's how you stay in this league and that's how you win in this league. That's something that we've all got to learn together and it takes everybody. There can't be one or two guys missing and right now that's what's happening ... This game has two teams that are desperate to get wins, so I think it's going to come down to who wants it more. This is a tough place to play in, they've got good fans and the rink is set up nice and it's intimidating. But I think it's going to be a good test for our young kids, and the older guys who have played here before have got to make sure we're ready and that everybody knows what's coming." -- Jason Demers
• "It's pretty much the same process for me whether I have a shutout or whether I let in three goals and get pulled after the third goal. I just go out to the next practice and try to work my game, clear my head and focus on every shot and every rebound and try to play situations as if there is a game going on. I feel that's the best way to do it. Usually when the practice is over you've forgotten the last game already." -- Antti Raanta on rebounding from Winnipeg game on Tuesday
• "Playing my first game for Arizona in this game would be pretty special. I was with the Montreal organization for two years. Hopefully I'll get the chance. Being with the Canadiens was a good experience for me. They're a great organization and have great people here. It was good for me to get my foot in the door in the NHL with them. I enjoyed my time here and I'm looking forward to this game ... The Canadiens have been playing better of late after a tough start. It will be a good test for us." -- Joel Hanley
Video: Hanley 'Excited' for Debut