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Preview: Coyotes at Bruins

Mike Smith returns for Arizona; Boston looks to continue success under Bruce Cassidy

by Matt Kalman / Correspondent

COYOTES (22-32-7) at BRUINS (32-24-6)



Coyotes team scope

Goaltender Mike Smith will start for the Arizona Coyotes after an illness made him unavailable to start each of the past two games. "Hope he jumps in and gives us a good game tonight," coach Dave Tippett said. The Coyotes look to start their three-game road trip with a second straight win after they defeated the Buffalo Sabres 3-2 at home Sunday. Arizona is 9-6-1 in its past 16 games but still sits 13th in the Western Conference. The Coyotes traded veteran forwards Martin Hanzal and Ryan White to the Minnesota Wild on Sunday. "There's opportunities for other guys, younger guys to get opportunities to play," captain Shane Doan said. "So you're excited about that and you recognize that we are in the position we are. It's not fun but it is where we're at."


Bruins team scope

The Boston Bruins start a three-game homestand after gonig 3-1-0 on a four-game road trip, including wins in each of their past two games. "I don't think there's a magic formula," said coach Bruce Cassidy, who is 6-1-0 since taking over for Claude Julien on Feb. 7. "We took a day off. Hopefully guys got stuff taken care of ... we're just going to talk about being on time when the puck drops tonight. That was the message this morning. ... The road trip's behind us, Arizona is in front of us. That's as simple as we can make it. I think the guys in the room have been in this league a long time, they understand that part of it." The Bruins, who are in third place in the Atlantic Division and two points behind the Ottawa Senators for second place, are 15-13-0 at home after winning their last three games at TD Garden before the road trip. Thirteen of the Bruins' final 20 games are at home, and they'll need to continue their success in order to qualify for the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the first time in three seasons. "I feel pretty confident in the group, in the game plan," center David Krejci said. "We tweaked some stuff since [Cassidy] took over and I feel really confident, we've been doing a pretty good job playing for him lately. But obviously we have to build on it, we have to be better every game. Even if you win a hockey game you have to show up the next day and try to be better. So a good challenge for us. It's been a while since we played at home, so I'm really excited and get ready to get a few games at home now."


Coyotes projected lineup

Max Domi -- Peter Holland -- Radim Vrbata

Brendan Perlini -- Christian Dvorak -- Shane Doan

Jamie McGinn -- Jordan Martinook -- Tobias Rieder

Lawson Crouse -- Alexander Burmistrov -- Josh Jooris

Oliver Ekman-Larsson -- Connor Murphy

Alex Goligoski -- Anthony DeAngelo

Jakob Chychrun -- Luke Schenn

Mike Smith

Louis Domingue

Scratched: Kevin Connauton, Teemu Pulkkinen

Injured: Brad Richardson (lower body)


Bruins projected lineup

Brad Marchand -- Patrice Bergeron -- David Backes

Peter Cehlarik -- David Krejci -- David Pastrnak

Frank Vatrano -- Ryan Spooner -- Jimmy Hayes

Tim Schaller -- Dominic Moore -- Riley Nash

Zdeno Chara -- Brandon Carlo

Torey Krug -- Adam McQuaid

Kevan Miller -- Colin Miller

Tuukka Rask

Anton Khudobin

Scratched: John-Michael Liles, Matt Beleskey

Injured: None


Status report

Burmistrov returns after missing one game with an upper-body injury. The Coyotes traded future considerations to the Minnesota Wild to acquire Pulkkinen on Monday, but he will not play. ... Beleskey will be scratched for the second straight game and third time in five games. Rask will start for the fifth time in six games.


Who's hot

Vrbata has 11 points (four goals, seven assists) during a nine-game point streak. He leads the Coyotes in road scoring with 19 points (seven goals, 12 assists) ... Bergeron has 17 points (six goals, 11 assists) in his past 12 games and Pastrnak has 13 points (six goals, seven assists) in his past nine games.

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