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Coyotes vs. Hurricanes Preview

Arizona is looking to sweep season series from Carolina on Sunday

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

GLENDALE -- The Coyotes will attempt to sweep the season series from Carolina when they host the Hurricanes in the second game of a home-and-home series on Sunday. The puck drops at 6:30 p.m. Arizona time at Gila River Arena.

Arizona (23-34-7) defeated Carolina, 4-2, at PNC Arena on Friday night. Both teams flew to Arizona on Saturday and neither practiced.

"We gave up too many out-numbered rushes, and we turned the puck over too much, so those are two key elements that we have to clean up a little bit," Head Coach Dave Tippett said about the rematch. "But we did some good things, too. Our first two goals in the first period were good strong middle-drive rush attempts. There's some things that we did all right, and there's some things we can improve on."

Mike Smith will start in goal after watching backup Louis Domingue make 32 saves on Friday.

Forward Radim Vrbata leads Arizona in goals (15), assists (33) and points (48), and has notched four goals and nine assists in his past 12 games. This game will be the 999th of his NHL career.

Defenseman Alex Goligoski has scored a goal in consecutive games for the first time since March of 2014 when he played for Dallas.

Forward Anthony Duclair, recently recalled from the American Hockey League, will play his first game at Gila River Arena since Jan. 14.

Video: Anthony Duclair discusses his return to the NHL

The Coyotes will again play minus forward Alexander Burmistrov (upper-body injury) and defenseman Kevin Connauton (upper-body injury).

Tonight's game is the first of four in a row at home for Arizona, which is 14-14-3 at Gila River Arena this season.

"We just finished six games in nine nights, which is a tough go, but to get home here and get some practice time (and) home-ice advantage, hopefully that bodes well for us," Tippett said. 

Video: Dave Tippett previews Sunday's game vs. 'Canes

Defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson would like the Coyotes to start possessing more than they did on Friday.

"We know what we have to do to win and to clean up some areas from the other game against them," Ekman-Larsson said. "They're high-skilled team, a lot of quick forwards. If we can play with the puck a lot and don't let them have the puck we can have a better chance to win."

Video: Ekman-Larsson previews Sunday's game vs. 'Canes

Carolina (25-26-10) has lost four games in a row and has won just one of its past 10 (1-6-3).

The Hurricanes, who rank last in the NHL with seven road wins, are looking to extend their winning streak in Glendale to six games. They haven't lost at the Coyotes since Dec. 3, 2005.

Forward Jeff Skinner leads Carolina with 40 points and 20 goals, but he has scored just six of his goals on the road.

Backup goalie Eddie Lack is expected to start. Lack has allowed 7 goals on 40 shots in his past two starts, both losses, and his .873 save percentage is the lowest of any goalie who has played at least 10 games.

"We talked about this being his start and setting him up," Head Coach Bill Peters told Carolina's web site. "He's two games under .500 on the season. Typically as a coach, if your back-up goalie can go .500, you can live with that. He's got an opportunity to do that. There's still enough hockey games left to play to have a strong finish."

Carolina ranks fifth in the NHL in face-off winning percentage at 52.5. Jordan Staal is leading the way for the Hurricanes at 58.8 percent.



TV: FOX Sports Arizona Plus

Radio: Arizona Sports 98.7 FM

COYOTES PROJECTED LINEUP VS. HURRICANES:Tweet from @ArizonaCoyotes: Tonight's projected lineup. #CARvsARI

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