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Preview: Coyotes vs. Oilers

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

GAME 40:

Coyotes (17-20-2) vs. Oilers (18-18-3) 

Looking to rebound from a 5-1 loss to Vegas on Sunday, Arizona will play the first game of a four-game season series vs. Edmonton on Wednesday night in Glendale.

WHERE: Gila River Arena | WHEN: 7:30 p.m. (AZ time) | TV: FOX Sports Arizona Plus | RADIO: ESPN 620 AM

Tweet from @ArizonaCoyotes: Tonight's projected lineup.#OurPack | #EDMvsARI


Arizona owns a 28-6-6 record in its past 40 games against the Oilers.

Adin Hill will make his 10th start of the season, and first ever vs. Edmonton. Hill ranks eighth in the NHL in goals-against average (2.39) among goaltenders who have played at least 10 games.

"He's been in some pressure situations and he's done a nice job for us," Head Coach Rick Tocchet said. 

• The Coyotes will play minus center Nick Schmaltz, who suffered a lower-body injury during Sunday's game vs. Vegas and is considered day-to-day. Schmaltz has produced 14 points (five goals, nine assists) in 17 games since Arizona acquired him in a trade with Chicago in November. 

Brad Richardson, who missed the past three games because of the flu, practiced on Tuesday and will be back in the lineup. Richardson leads the Coyotes with 10 goals and is a first-unit penalty killer.

"He had a good practice today," Tocchet said Tuesday. "He should be good to go. It's good for us. He's been a hell of a leader since I've been here."

Video: 'Yotes Bites: 'A Fresh Mentality'

Alex Galchenyuk is riding a five-game point streak. Galchenyuk has produced three goals and four assists during the clip, his longest of the season. Despite missing 10 games because of injuries, Galchenyuk ranks third on the team with 18 points.

• Tocchet will enter the game needing one win to reach 100 as a head coach in the NHL. 

Vinnie Hinostroza, who recently returned to the lineup after missing 10 games because of an ankle injury, is eager to get back into a scoring groove. He last produced a goal on Nov. 11.

"I'm feeling pretty good," Hinostroza said. "Obviously, coming back after injuring your ankle, it's tough in your skate and you're not really 100 percent right away. So I'm just trying to play, and battling every day." 


• Edmonton has allowed 29 goals during a six-game losing streak ... With 39 points, the Oilers rank sixth in the Pacific Division, three points ahead of the Coyotes ... Connor McDavid leads the team and ranks fourth in the NHL with 58 points. He will enter the game with a four-game point streak ... So will Leon Draisaitl, who has scored at least one goal in four consecutive games - he notched two on New Year's Eve vs. Winnipeg ... Milan Lucic ranks third in the NHL with 144 hits ... Mikko Koskinen will start in goal and make his 25th NHL appearance. He has never faced the Coyotes ... Former Coyotes forward Tobias Rieder has notched zero goals and seven assists in his first season with the Oilers.

Video: Rick Tocchet Previews Home Game vs. Oilers


• "Any team coached by Ken Hitchcock, they're going to be prepared and ready to play. Obviously they're not happy that they're losing, like we're not. So, you're going to get two desperate teams trying to win a hockey game ... I liked our practice (on Tuesday). All the right things were said by the players and myself, and hopefully that transfers on the ice." -- Rick Tocchet 

• "We're all excited for this game and to show that we can do much better than the last game. It's all about outworking the opponent and taking care of the small details of the game ... It's a new year now and we're all talking about getting this train going again, like we did last year after the holidays." -- Mario Kempe

• "We're just looking to play the right way. We've got to play simple hockey, that's when we're at our best ... It's cool every time you get to play against a player like Connor McDavid. He's got unbelievable talent and you've just got to be ready for that extra play. He can make that extra elite play that a lot of guys can't. So, you've just got to be on your toes a little bit more and know when he's on the ice." -- Adin Hill

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