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Preview: Coyotes at Flames

Calgary goes for fifth win in six games; Lawson Crouse out for Arizona

by Aaron Vickers / Correspondent

COYOTES (18-28-7) at FLAMES (28-25-3)



Coyotes team scope

Forward Lawson Crouse will not play for the Arizona Coyotes because of a lower-body injury sustained in a 4-3 overtime win against the Pittsburgh Penguins on Saturday. Crouse did not travel with the Coyotes to start a three-game Pacific Division road trip. "We'll re-evaluate him after the next couple days here," coach Dave Tippett said. "He might join us (in Los Angeles on Thursday) possibly. Probably not tomorrow." Arizona is 5-2-1 in its past eight games after going 2-12-1 in its previous 15. "We have everybody contributing," Tippett said. "We've talked a lot about no weak links in our lineup. Whether you're a young guy or a veteran guy, we can't have any weak links. Everybody has to do their job and pull their weight in different roles. Most nights that's the case." Goaltender Mike Smith (13-15-6, 2.92 goals-against average, .915 save percentage) will start his ninth straight game. "I feel good. I feel healthy," Smith said. "That's the main thing. When you're playing well, you just want to continue to do that and stay as consistent as possible and go one game at a time."


Flames team scope

Goaltender Chad Johnson will start for the Calgary Flames, who are playing their first game following a five-day break. Calgary has won four of its past five games (4-1-0). "You have to bring your best," Johnson said. "We know where we are in the standings, but that's not something that we're focused on during the game. You have to really focus on the process of getting wins." The Flames are one point behind the Los Angeles Kings for the second wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Western Conference and trail the Nashville Predators by three points for the first wild card. "I kept up-to-date with all that stuff and looked at scores and kept my eye on the standings," center Sean Monahan said. "I know where we are and as a group we know where we are." Monahan, at 22 years, 124 days old, is one goal from becoming the youngest player in Flames history to score 100 goals. Joe Nieuwendyk was 22 years, 185 days when he scored his 100th on March 14, 1989. "I just park that and try to play my game," Monahan said. "To get there would be pretty special and pretty cool, but right now I'm focused on winning hockey games and if I can help by putting the puck in the net, that'd be great."


Coyotes projected lineup

Max Domi -- Martin Hanzal -- Radim Vrbata

Tobias Rieder -- Alexander Burmistrov -- Jamie McGinn

Brendan Perlini -- Christian Dvorak -- Shane Doan

Jordan Martinook -- Josh Jooris -- Ryan White

Oliver Ekman-Larsson -- Luke Schenn

Alex Goligoski -- Michael Stone

Kevin Connauton -- Connor Murphy

Mike Smith

Louis Domingue

Scratched: Jakob Chychrun, Peter Holland

Injured: Brad Richardson (broken leg), Lawson Crouse (lower body)


Flames projected lineup

Johnny Gaudreau -- Sean Monahan -- Troy Brouwer

Matthew Tkachuk -- Mikael Backlund -- Michael Frolik

Kris Versteeg -- Sam Bennett -- Alex Chiasson

Micheal Ferland -- Matt Stajan -- Garnet Hathaway

Mark Giordano -- Dougie Hamilton

TJ Brodie -- Dennis Wideman

Brett Kulak -- Deryk Engelland

Chad Johnson

Brian Elliott

Scratched: Lance Bouma, Freddie Hamilton, Jyrki Jokipakka

Injured: None


Status report

With Crouse out, Jooris will play for the first time in five games. He will be at center on the fourth line. ... The Flames, who held an optional skate Monday morning, aren't expected to make any lineup changes from a 4-3 shootout win at the Pittsburgh Penguins on Tuesday.


Who's hot

Domi has three points in his past two games. … Backlund has three assists and four points during a three-game point streak. ... Gaudreau has five assists and six points in his past five games. ... Monahan has nine goals in his past 12 games.

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