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Coyotes vs. Capitals Preview

Arizona is looking to snap a four-game losing streak on Friday

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

GLENDALE -- The Coyotes will attempt to snap a four-game losing streak on Friday when they host the Washington Capitals. The puck drops at 7 p.m. Arizona time at Gila River Arena.

Arizona (27-41-9) has scored just one goal in each of the past four games.

Backup goalie Louis Domingue will start in place of Mike Smith, who is ill but will serve as Domingue's backup. Domingue stopped 194 of 205 shots in his past six games and is 4-1-0 (with one no decision) in those games.

"I'm feeling confident," Domingue said after making 40 saves vs. St. Louis on Wednesday. "The only way to feel confident is by working hard and knowing what you're going to do just because you have done it consistently over and over."

Captain Shane Doan will return to the lineup after missing the past seven games because of a lower-body injury.

"As a player, you have to trust the opinions of the coaches and trainers and I appreciate the way they looked after me," Doan said. "I'm excited about the opportunity to play again. Five games [remaining] makes it tough. You wish you had more. You wish you could start the whole thing over and have a re-do … but you can't so you work with five games." 

Video: Shane Doan discussess his return to the lineup

Forward Christian Dvorak ranks second in the NHL among freshman with 432 face-off wins and is nearing the Coyotes record for rookies held by Martin Hanzal (470 in 2007-08). 

Forward Jamie McGinn, who left the team earlier this week because of a death in his family, returned on Friday but will not play.

Defenseman Jakob Chychrun will play on Arizona's third defensive pairing on his 19th birthday. 

Video: Jake Chychrun previews Friday's game vs. Caps

Washington (51-17-8) has won six games in a row and leads the NHL with 110 points with six games left on its schedule.

The Capitals appear poised to win the Presidents' Trophy for earning the most points of any team in the League.

Washington has earned at least one point in six of its past eight games against the Coyotes (5-2-1). 

Goalie Braden Holtby is expected to start after sitting out the team's 5-3 win over Colorado on Wednesday. Holtby has posted at least 40 wins in three consecutive seasons. Only Martin Brodeur (2005-08) and Evgeni Nabokov (2007-10) also have accomplished that feat. Holtby ranks second in the NHL with a 2.04 goals-against average and is third with a .926 save percentage.

Captain Alex Ovechkin, who leads the team and ranks 11th in the NHL with 33 goals, has produced 15 points (six goals, nine assists) in 13 career games against the Coyotes.

Center Nicklas Backstrom has notched 11 points (one goal, 10 assists) in his past six games to bring his point total to a team-leading 82. 

Washington has scored 34 power-play goals in its past 37 games and has not allowed a power-play goal in five consecutive games.

"I wouldn't say our game has been totally complete," Head Coach Barry Trotz said after the morning skate on Friday. "For the most part this group has stayed focused on being consistent and it has a willingness to keep learning rather than ignoring things that come up in our game. We're open-minded about getting things fixed. We're trying to finish first in the Metro and get any advantage possible, but and team you get in the (Stanley Cup Playoffs) is going to be tough." 

Video: Dave Tippett previews Friday's game vs. Caps



TV: FOX Sports Arizona

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

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