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Pre-Game Capsule: Coyotes vs. Wild

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

GAME 63:

Coyotes (18-34-10) vs. Wild (36-20-7)

Arizona will play the sixth of seven straight home games on Thursday night when it hosts Minnesota in Glendale. The Coyotes have posted a 3-2-0 record over the first five games of their season-long homestand.

WHERE: Gila River Arena

WHEN: 7 p.m. (AZ time)

TV: FOX Sports Arizona

RADIO: ESPN 620 AM

Video: Tocchet: 'Dangerous Game' vs. Wild

KEY FACTS: 

• The Coyotes are 9-7-5 in their past 21 games and have earned points in seven of their past nine games (6-2-1).

Antti Raanta will start in goal for the first time since positng a 26-save shutout vs. Anaheim on Feb. 24. Raanta, who has notched two shutouts in his past three starts, needs 11 saves to reach 1,000 for this season. His previous high for saves in one NHL season was 721, which he set last season with the New York Rangers.

Video: Raanta: Need to Keep it Simple vs. Wild

• Minnesota natives Derek Stepan and Alex Goligoski will enter the game ranked second and tied for third in point production, respectively, for Arizona. Stepan has 39 points, including a team-high 28 assists. He needs just one more point to reach 400 for his NHL career. Goligoski has 30 points in 61 games this season, six shy of his 82-game total from last season.

• Brendan Perlini, who ranks second on the Coyotes with 16 goals and second in shooting percentage at 15.2 percent, is averaging a point per game in four career games vs. Minnesota.

• Richard Panik, who missed the past two games because of a lower-body injury, has practiced all week and will return to the lineup. Panik has notched four assists in 15 games with the Coyotes, but istill is seeking his first goal. He tallied six in 37 games for Chicago before being traded to Arizona on Jan. 10.

• Minnesota will enter the game having won five games in a row and with a 12-game point streak (9-0-3) vs. Arizona since Jan. 9, 2014 - the longest point streak vs. an opponent in franchise history. The Wild matched a franchise record for most goals in a game (eight) vs. St. Louis on Tuesday. Eric Staal notched his 14th career hat trick - and first since 2013 - to bring his goal total for the season to 33, which ranks fourth in the NHL. Minnesota's defensemen have totaled 156 points in 63 games, the second most in the NHL this season. Goalie Devan Dubnyk has 27 wins and four shutouts, but backup Alex Stalock could get the start. He played in just two of Minnesota's 13 games in February.

Tweet from @ArizonaCoyotes: Tonight's projected lineup. #YOTES | #MINvsARI pic.twitter.com/QGFeiqdw6J

COYOTE BITES:

• "Everybody here needs to be playing at a high level every night. This is our playoffs right now. We're trying to end the season on a high note. We've worked hard throughout the whole season and finally we are getting some results. So I think it's important for us to keep on doing the same things for the last 20 games." -- Antti Raanta

• "They're fighting for playoff position right now and they're trying to claw up the standings wherever they can. Our role now is to try and not let that happen for any teams, and kind of take some pride in that." -- Max Domi

• "We caught them on an off night (on Feb. 8). I don't think we're going to catch them on an off night (on Thursday). They're a solid club fighting for a playoff position. It's a very solid team and a good test for our hockey club. When you play teams like that, espcecially with a guy like (Eric) Staal, any time there's a turnover they're going north. You've got to really manage the puck." -- Rick Tocchet

Video: Chychrun: Have to Be Ready to Go vs. MIN

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