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Coyotes at Blues Preview

Arizona is ending a five-game road trip at St. Louis

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

The Coyotes will conclude a five-game road trip when they play the St. Louis Blues on Monday night. The puck drops at 5 p.m. Arizona time at the Scottrade Center.

Arizona (27-39-9) won just one of the first four games on the trip and was held to one goal in each of its three losses. 

Mike Smith will start in goal despite having lost all three of his starts on the trip. Smith's most recent victory occurred March 13 vs. Colorado.

Clayton Keller, whom the Coyotes signed to an entry-level contract on Sunday, will make his NHL debut in this game. Keller grew up in nearby Swansea, Ill., and used to attend Blues games with his father and grandfather when he was younger.

"It's real special to have the first one here," Keller said. "I'm really looking forward to it."

Video: Clayton Keller answers questions before his debut

The Coyotes drafted Keller seventh overall last year and he played this season for Boston University. As a freshman, he led the Terriers with 21 goals and 24 assists in 31 games. Boston University's season ended Saturday, and Keller opted to turn pro on Sunday.

"He's got to get up and going," Head Coach Dave Tippett said. "He's a young player that's going to have a lot to learn. I'm sure they'll be a lot of excitement and probably some nerves from him, but he's a high-skilled, really intelligent player. Hopefully he gets in and does what he does best and makes some plays."

Video: Dave Tippett previews Monday's game at Blues

With Keller playing, and his childhood pal Jakob Chychrun also in the lineup, they will become the first 18-year-old duo to skate in the same game for the Coyotes/Jets franchise since Shane Doan and Jason Doig did so on Oct. 9, 1995.

Doan, of course, is still with the Coyotes at age 40. However, Doan is expected to miss his sixth consecutive game because of a nagging lower-body injury.

Meanwhile, center Alex Burmistrov is expected to play after missing the past 13 games because of an upper-body injury.

St. Louis (40-28-6) has won nine of it past 11 games and currently owns the second wild-card spot in the Western Conference.

The Blues have dominated the Coyotes recently, winning nine straight games between the teams; they haven't lost in regulation to Arizona since April 6, 2012.

Goalie Jake Allen has posted a 6-0-0 record, two shutotus, a 1.00 goals-against average, and a .962 save-percentage vs. the Coyotes in his career.

Forward Vladimir Tarasenko leads the team and the Western Conference with 34 goals. 

Captain Alex Pietrangelo will enter the game with 40 points, including five power-play goals, which rank sixth in the NHL for defensemen. 

Video: Tobias Rieder previews Monday's game at Blues



TV: FOX Sports Arizona

Radio: ESPN Phoenix 620 AM



Domi - Dvorak - Vrbata

Perlini - Martinook - Rieder

Keller - Burmistrov - Fischer

Crouse - Jooris - McGinn


Ekman-Larsson - Murphy

Goligoski - DeAngelo

Chychrun - Schenn




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