Coyotes (7-6-0) at Flyers (7-7-1)
Arizona will begin a four-game trip by playing the finale of a rare home-and-home series vs. an Eastern Conference opponent on Thursday night at Philadelphia. The Flyers beat the Coyotes, 5-2, at Gila River Arena on Monday.
WHERE: Wells Fargo Center | WHEN: 5 p.m. (AZ time) | TV: FOX Sports Arizona Plus | RADIO: ESPN 620 AM
ABOUT THE 'YOTES:
• Arizona is starting a stretch of four road games in six nights. After playing at Philadelphia, the Coyotes, who are 3-3-0 on the road, will play at Pittsburgh on Saturday, at Washington on Sunday, and at Detroit on Tuesday.
• Backup Darcy Kuemper will start in goal in place of Antti Raanta, who this week was placed on the injured-reserve list because of a lower-body injury. Kuemper, who allowed four goals vs. Philadelphia in Monday's game, is 1-2-0 with a 3.39 goals-against average and a .901 save percentage in three career games vs. the Flyers. Hunter Miska, whom Arizona recalled from the American Hockey League on Wednesday, will serve as Kuemper's backup. Miska has never played an NHL game, but might make his debut during this busy weekend.
• Clayton Keller will enter tonight's game riding a season-long five-game point streak (two goals, three assists) and with points in seven of his past eight games. He's averaging an assist per game in three career games vs. the Flyers.
• Like Keller, Michael Grabner has notched at least one point (three goals, three assists) in five consecutive games. Tonight, he'll get the chance to tie his career-long point streak of six games, which he set in February of 2011.
Video: Tocchet on Raanta, Flyers
• Oliver Ekman-Larsson owns a three-game point streak (one goal, two assists) and needs just two points to reach 300 for his NHL career.
• Arizona ranks first in the NHL in penalty-killing efficiency at 90.2 percent. Opponents have scored just four power-play goals vs. the Coyotes, who also lead the League with seven short-handed goals.
• Christian Fischer, whom the Coyotes drafted 32nd overall in 2015, is expected to skate in his 100th NHL game.
• Defenseman Dakota Mermis, whom the Coyotes recalled from the AHL on Tuesday, is on the road trip in case depth is needed. Neither Jason Demers nor Alex Goligoski practiced on Tuesday before the trip. Demers will play Thursday, but Goligoski is considered a game-time decision. Mermis, who was recently named captain of the Tucson Roadrunners, has nine games on his NHL resume, all with Arizona last season.
ABOUT THE FLYERS:
• Philadelphia is back home after posting a 3-0-1 record on a four-game road trip vs. Pacific Division teams. The Flyers are just 2-4-0 at home and were outscored, 26-15, in those six games ... Philadelphia has scored the first goal in four straight games and is 3-1-1 in the five games in which it has led 1-0 ... The Flyers rank second in the NHL in face-off winning percentage at 54.9 ... Claude Giroux is leading the Flyers with six goals, 17 points and 50 shots on goal ... Cal Pickard, who stopped 34 of 36 shots in Monday's game, is expected to return to the net for another start ... The Flyers have allowed at least one power-play goal in eight consecutive games.
• "(Tonight's game) should be a good test for our club, and I think we'll be ready for the challenge ... We're getting contributions from everyone. All four lines are playing well, and we're not just relying on one guy, or one or two lines. We're playing well as a team, and playing really well defensively. Our goalies have been keeping us in every game. If we can get some more of that tonight, we should be OK." -- Nick Cousins
• "Whoever plays is who plays. One guy steps out and one guys steps in. That's how a team is. For us, we know regardless of who's playing it's going to be a good goalie, so we've got to just focus on what we can do to win, and obviously the goalie's got to focus on what he can do to help us. 'Kemps' is a great goalie and we have a lot of faith in him, and he's going to play a good one." -- Brendan Perlini
• "Philly is one of those teams, like some other teams, the first 10 minutes, they like to forecheck. They put you on your toes early. If you can somehow weather the storm, break their forecheck and transition off their aggressiveness, you might be able to get some odd-man rushes." -- Rick Tocchet
Video: Yotes Bites: Trip Begins in Philly