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Preview: Coyotes at Flames

Calgary forward Johnny Gaudreau will have surgery on fractured finger; goalie Mike Smith, center Martin Hanzal return for Arizona

by Aaron Vickers / NHL.com Correspondent

COYOTES (5-9-0) at FLAMES (6-10-1)
 
10 p.m. ET; SN, SN1, FS-A PLUS, NHL.TV 

 

Coyotes team scope

Goaltender Mike Smith and center Martin Hanzal will return to the lineup for the Arizona Coyotes. "Both went through a couple good days of practice," coach Dave Tippett said. "We left it to this morning to figure out if they both gave the thumbs-up. When you get your No. 1 goalie and No. 1 center back hopefully that's a boost for our team." Smith missed 12 games because of a lower-body injury. He is 1-0-0 with a 3.27 goals against average and .900 save percentage in two starts. "When he's on, I'd put him against anybody in the world," captain Shane Doan said. "He's amazing. You get that back. If he's our best player, we have a great chance to win. A lot of nights he is. It's amazing how when your goaltender is good everyone looks way, way, way better. We've just got to go out there and try to give him an opportunity." Hanzal, who has two goals and four points, missed the past five games with a lower-body injury. "He's the guy that pushes everything along on the power play and penalty kill," Doan said. "He's our No. 1 centerman. He does so many things so well. He's our most important forward. To have him back is huge." Smith and Hanzal were activated off injury reserve Tuesday.

 

Flames team scope

Calgary Flames forward Johnny Gaudreau is having surgery Wednesday to repair a fractured finger sustained against the Minnesota Wild on Tuesday. "For me, I'm just preparing for the worst-case scenario," coach Glen Gulutzan said. "That's how it goes. We won't know anything on this injury until we hear from the doctors. We won't know the time frame." Gaudreau has three goals in his past three games and leads Calgary with 11 points. "We've got to create that mentality now where we're going to rally and do it by committee," captain Mark Giordano said. "No one is going to come in and be Johnny and create like he creates or put up those numbers that he puts up. But we can definitely do it by committee." With Gaudreau out, Sam Bennett will skate on the top line with Sean Monahan and Troy Brouwer. "Great opportunity," Gulutzan said. "He's had success at wing. He's got two good linemates and they're going to go play." Goalie Chad Johnson, who made 27 saves to shut out the Wild, will start back-to-back games. "I thought he made some real good key saves at key times," Gulutzan said. "I don't think he was overloaded. We did a real good job of limiting the second shots. He did a fantastic job of making the big save and getting the first shot. We're going to go with him."

 

Coyotes projected lineup

Max Domi -- Martin Hanzal -- Radim Vrbata

Tobias Rieder -- Jordan Martinook -- Anthony Duclair

Jamie McGinn -- Brad Richardson -- Shane Doan

Lawson Crouse -- Laurent Dauphin -- Ryan White

Oliver Ekman-Larsson -- Michael Stone

Alex Goligoski -- Anthony DeAngelo

Jakob Chychrun -- Connor Murphy

Mike Smith

Louis Domingue

Scratched: Dylan Strome, Kevin Connauton, Luke Schenn

Injured: None

 

Flames projected lineup

Sam Bennett -- Sean Monahan -- Troy Brouwer

Matthew Tkachuk -- Mikael Backlund -- Michael Frolik

Matt Stajan -- Linden Vey -- Alex Chiasson

Micheal Ferland -- Freddie Hamilton -- Garnet Hathaway

Mark Giordano -- Dougie Hamilton

TJ Brodie -- Dennis Wideman

Brett Kulak -- Deryk Engelland

Chad Johnson

Brian Elliott

Scratched: Jyrki Jokipakka, Hunter Shinkaruk

Injured: Ladislav Smid (neck), Kris Versteeg (groin), Lance Bouma (upper body), Johnny Gaudreau (finger)

 

Status report 

Arizona assigned goaltender Justin Peters and center Christian Dvorak to Tucson of the American Hockey League on Tuesday. … Vey, who did not play against the Wild, will dress. Jokipakka is expected to be a healthy scratch for the third consecutive game.

 

Who's hot

Vrbata has two goals and five points during a four-game point streak. … Domi has four points in his past three games.

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