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Pre-Game Capsule: Coyotes at Capitals

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

GAME 16:

Coyotes (2-12-1) at Capitals (7-6-1)

Arizona will begin a three-game road trip with a matchup vs. the Capitals on Monday night in Washington, D.C.

WHERE: Capital One Arena

WHEN: 5 p.m. (AZ time)

TV: FOX Sports Arizona 


Video: Matt and Biz on Domi, Dvorak, Caps


• The Coyotes, who have won two of their past four games, rank second in the NHL with 392 hits. Luke Schenn and Zac Rinaldo are leading the way with 42 hits apiece.

• Scott Wedgewood will start in goal as Arizona plays the first of back-to-back games to start a three-game trip. Antti Raanta is expected to start Tuesday's game at Pittsburgh. Wedgewood has faced Washington once before, on March 25, 2016, while playing for New Jersey. He stopped 25 of 26 shots in that game, but the Devils lost, 1-0, in overtime. 

• Clayton Keller will enter the game leading all NHL rookies in goals (10), points (16) and shots (56). The Coyotes have scored 39 goals this season. Keller has contributed to 41 percent of those.

Christian Dvorak is averaging a goal per/game vs. Washington in his young career. Dvorak scored twice vs. the Capitals on March 31 last season to key a 6-3 win by Arizona. 

• Arizona recalled defenseman Joel Hanley from the American Hockey League on Sunday. Hanley, 26, has played 17 NHL games, all with Montreal. He notched four assists in nine games for Tucson (AHL) before the recall, his second of the season. Should he play, he'll wear sweater No. 39. 

• Stan Wilson, Arizona's Head Equipment Manager, will work his 2,000th NHL game tonight. Wilson has been with the Coyotes/Jets franchise since 1990.

• Washington, which has won three of its past four games, is once again being led by captain Alex Ovechkin, who has notched 11 goals. However, Ovechkin has scored just one goal in the past six games and two in the past nine. Goalie Braden Holtby, who has seven victories, has posted a 3-1-0 record vs. Arizona and a 2.54 goals-against average in those games. The Caps are struggling on special teams, especially at home, where they are just 1 for 19 on power plays. That's 5.3 percent, which ranks last in the NHL.  

Tweet from @ArizonaCoyotes: Tonight's projected lineup. #ARIvsWSH


• "You have to be really smart. If you take penalties, you're going to get eaten up. They have a really good power play, so you have to be disciplined in that aspect. You have to make sure that you make them defend. You've got to be smart with the puck. They're a really skilled team and they've got a great goaltender and their d-men are mobile, so we've got to be really sharp tonight." -- Derek Stepan on Capitals

• "They're a possession team. They really don't fire the puck until they have an opportunity to score, so they kind of wear you down in the 'D' zone ... so you just kind of stay aware and keep talking. We've been playing well the last few (games) defensively, so we should be fine tonight." -- Scott Wedgewood on Capitals

* "Everybody says he just scores from that one spot. I've seen him score from all different spots. He goes to the net. He's got that great (move) taking the puck from the outside to the middle with that shot. Obviously he's great on the power play. He can score in many different facets. When teams try to take the shot away, then he'll do other things. And he's an underrated passer. I've seen it over the years, he can make great passes." -- Rick Tocchet on Alex Ovechkin

Video: Tocchet on Wedgewood, Ovechkin

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