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Coyotes vs. Blues Preview

Arizona is playing its first home game since March 18

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

GLENDALE - The Coyotes will play their first home game in 11 days on Wednesday night when they host the St. Louis Blues. The puck drops at 7:30 p.m. Arizona time at Gila River Arena.

Arizona (27-40-9) completed a five-game road trip on Monday with a 4-1 loss to the Blues. 

Backup goalie Louis Domingue will start the rematch with St. Louis in place of Mike Smith. Domingue has won his past four starts and stopped 143 of 152 shots in those wins.

"You keep putting in hard work and at some point it turns your way," Domingue said.

Video: Louis Domingue previews Wednesday's game vs. Blues

"It was a long, hard trip for Mike," Head Coach Dave Tippett said. "Louis has played well lately, so we'll give Mike a bit of a break here today. Louis will jump in tonight and we'll see how he does."

Video: Dave Tippett previews Wednesday's game vs. Blues

Rookie Clayton Keller, who made his NHL debut on Monday in St. Louis near his hometown, is expected to play his first home game since turning pro on Sunday.

"It was nice to have a day off and relax a little after everything that happened," said Keller, who went from playing in the NCAA Tournament with Boston University on Saturday to playing with Arizona on Monday. "That first game was such a special night, you'll never forget that. We have a lot of rookies on this team. They're helping me because it's a lot different from college. Playing a game here and in this rink for the first time will also be special." 

Keller will play on a line with center Christian Dvorak and forward Radim Vrbata, who leads Arizona in goals (18), assists (35) and points (53).

The Coyotes again will play minus captain Shane Doan, who is nursing a nagging lower-body injury. Doan hasn't played since March 16, but Tippett said he is "probable" for Friday's game vs. Washington.

Arizona also will play without forward Jamie McGinn, who has left the team for a few days because of a death in his family.

Video: Luke Schenn previews Wednesday's game vs. Blues

St. Louis (41-28-6) has posted a 10-2-1 record in March and will enter the game comfortably in playoff position, 11 points ahead of Los Angeles for the second wild-card spot in the Western Conference with just seven games to play. The Blues can clinch a Stanley Cup Playoffs berth if they defeat Arizona and the Los Angeles Kings lose in any fashion against the Calgary Flames on Wednesday. 

St. Louis has dominated the Coyotes over recent seasons; they the Blues have won 10 straight games played between the teams and haven't lost to Arizona since Nov. 12, 2013.

Captain Alex Pietrangelo has scored 12 goals this season, including two vs. the Coyotes, both game-winners.

Forward Vladimir Tarasenko ranks fourth in the NHL with 35 goals, and is just one of nine players with at least 30 goals and 30 assists this season.

Backup goalie Carter Hutton is expected to start for the Blues in place of Jake Allen, who has beaten Arizona twice this season. Hutton is 6-2-0 in his past eight road starts with a 1.04 goals-against average and .962 save percentage.

"(Hutton) has got all the skills as far as winning hockey games, but there's much more that goes into it," Head Coach Mike Yeo told the Blues web site. "He's a great teammate for the guys and he goes unnoticed with the extra work he puts in after practice. We're hoping we put a good game in front of him tonight."



TV: FOX Sports Arizona

Radio: Arizona Sports 98.7 FM


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



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