Center Martin Hanzal
will return to the lineup on Thursday night at Calgary as the Coyotes conclude a three-game road trip.
Hanzal has missed the past seven games because of a lower-body injury. He has played just 26 of the team’s 39 games this season.
“I’m ready so I really can’t wait to get back and help the team win some games,” Hanzal said. “It’s been awhile so hopefully I’ll pick up where I dropped off from and I’ll be good tomorrow… I’m really excited. I hate to be sitting out. I’m looking forward to be back.”
With 20 points, Hanzal ranks tied for sixth on the team. Of his 20 points, 15 are assists.
• Forward Tobias Rieder notched his 22nd and 23rd points of the season on Monday at Vancouver to break his career-high for points in a season (21) set as a rookie in 2014-15.
Rieder notched 21 points (13 goals, eight assists) in 72 games last season. He has 23 points (eight goals, 15 assists) in just 39 games this season.
“It’s been going pretty well,” Rieder said after Wednesday’s practice. “Obviously you want to be better than your first year and I think it’s been working out pretty well so far. It’s a lot easier after your rookie year. You’re not that nervous anymore.”
Rieder is pleased Hanzal will be back in the lineup on Thursday so he and Hanzal and Anthony Duclair can be reunited on a line.
“I think me and ‘Dukey’ and Marty have great chemistry,” Rieder said. “Early in the season that worked out pretty well and we’re happy to have Marty back now and keep going where we left off.”
• Louis Domingue will start in goal on Thursday night at Calgary for a fourth game in a row.
Domingue is 4-0-2 with a .939 save percentage in six starts this season.
“Right now he’s the No. 1 option, for sure, because he’s played so well,” Head Coach Dave Tippett told the team’s flagship radio station, Arizona Sports 98.7 FM, on Wednesday. “That’s nothing against Anders Lindback, he’s played all right when he’s been in there, but Louis has just given us some stability… We’ll continue to go with him. He’s just got a calm demeanor in there that’s really helped our group settle down right now.”
• Captain Shane Doan will enter the game with 50 multi-goal games on his NHL resume, including three in the past four games.
“The greatest thing about ‘Doaner’ when he scores is his smile,” Tippett said. “He loves to score… He’s having fun playing and I think some of this youth around our team has made him feel youthful also.”
• The Coyotes have changed the start time of the game vs. New Jersey at Gila River Arena on Saturday, Jan. 16 from 7 p.m. to noon (Arizona time). The change was made because the NFL this week scheduled an Arizona Cardinals home playoff game for 6:15 p.m. on the same day. The Cardinals play at University of Phoenix Stadium, which is across the street from Gila River Arena.
The thinking behind the change is that having two games taking place at the same time on the same day would create extremely heavy traffic congestion in the area.
Tippett told Arizona Sports 98.7 FM he’s OK with the change.
“I don’t mind the afternoon games,” Tippett said. “I like afternoon games actually; you get up, you get going. It will be an exciting day out in Glendale.”
• Prospects Christian Dvorak and Ryan MacInnis won bronze medals playing for Team USA at the 2016 IIHF World Junior Championship. The Americans beat Sweden, 8-3, in the bronze medal game on Tuesday.
Five other Coyotes prospects competed at the prestigious tournament but did not earn medals. They are Dylan Strome and Brendan Perlini of Team Canada, and Jens Looke, Anton Karlsson and Erik Kallgren of Team Sweden.Click here to view our World Junior Championship coverage. Click here to view the stats of all seven prospects at the World Junior Championship within the latest Prospects Report.