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Coyotes vs. Canucks Preview

Arizona is starting its final homestand of the season on Thursday night

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

GLENDALE -- The Coyotes will begin their final homestand of the season on Thursday night when they host the Vancouver Canucks. The puck drops at 7 p.m. at Gila River Arena.

Arizona (29-41-10) is finishing its season strong having earned five of a possible six points in its past three games. However, the 29th-place Coyotes still trail the 28th-place Canucks by a point in the NHL's overall standings, and Vancouver has a game in hand.

Backup goalie Louis Domingue will start in goal vs. Vancouver, with Mike Smith starting the season finale on Saturday. Domingue is is 5-1-0 in his past six starts with a .945 save percentage.

Dominque made a career-high 45 saves in his last game, a 6-3 win against the Washington Capitals on March 31.

"Louis has earned the right, he's played very well lately," Head Coach Dave Tippett said. "He will play tonight. 'Smitty' played the last two after some sickness, so we'll put Louis in this one, and then 'Smitty' will get the final one." 

Video: Dave Tippett previews Thursday's game vs. Canucks

Captain Shane Doan and forward Radim Vrbata will return to the lineup after missing Tuesday's game at Dallas.

"It feels good to go, so you should see me tonight," Vrbata said after the morning skate. "It's something I've been playing with for the last few weeks and it just tightened up more than usual. With the extra bodies we have, there was no need to risk anything and be ready for the last two." 

Video: Radim Vrbata on Thursday's home game vs. Canucks

Center Alexander Burmistrov will enter the game with a three-game point streak. He's notched three goals and one assist during that span. Meanwhile, forward Anthony Duclair has tallied a goal in each of the past two games to raise his season total to five.

Rookie Christian Dvorak has scored 11 goals since Feb. 2 and has 15 this season. Only Vrbata (18) and Tobias Rieder (16) have scored more among the Coyotes. 

Vancouver (30-40-9) has lost five games in a row and was outscored 14-4 in those defeats. The Canucks have netted just 171 goals in 79 games this season. Only the Colorado Avalanche have been less productive (157).

Ryan Miller, who has posted an 11-2-0 record and a .952 save percentage vs. the Coyotes in 13 games, is expected to start in goal.

Forward Bo Horvat leads Vancouver and has set career-highs in goals (20), assists (31) and points (51). He's the eighth member of the Canucks to reach the 20-goal mark before his 22nd birthday and the first to do so since Daniel Sedin in 2000-01.

Rookie Brock Boeser has notched two goals and one assist in six games since turning pro on March 25, a day after competing for North Dakota in the NCAA Tournament. The Canucks drafted Boeser 23rd overall in 2015.

Video: Connor Murphy previews Thursday's home game



TV: FOX Sports Arizona Plus 

Radio: ESPN Phoenix 620 AM


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


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