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Preview: Coyotes at Oilers

Edmonton moves Jordan Eberle to top line; Arizona aims to extend point streak to five games

by Derek Van Diest / NHL.com Correspondent

COYOTES (19-28-7) at OILERS (29-19-8)

9 p.m. ET; SNW, FS-A, NHL.TV

 

Coyotes team scope

The Arizona Coyotes will try to extend their point streak to five games, and enter Tuesday 6-2-1 in their past nine games. Goaltender Mike Smith made 36 saves in a 5-0 win at the Calgary Flames on Monday to open a three-game road trip. "It was a good team game by everyone," center Christian Dvorak said. "All four lines were rolling. The first period wasn't great, but we found a way in the second and third and found a way to win." Smith has 21 shutouts with the Coyotes, tying him with Ilya Bryzgalov and Nikolai Khabibulin for the franchise record. Smith may get a rest in favor of Louis Domingue in the second game of a back-to-back after starting Arizona's past nine games. The Coyotes are seventh in the Pacific Division, 15 points out of the second wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Western Conference. "I'm just trying to be solid for the group," Smith said. "I'm back there just trying to be as consistent as possible. It's been nice to be able to have some success this year and help the teams get wins. We want to keep improving and getting better … we want to push forward and get used to winning a lot more." Forward Jamie McGinn will play his 500th NHL game, and is one goal from 100 in his League career.

 

Oilers team scope

After scoring two goals in regulation during their past four games and losing four of their past five games, the Edmonton Oilers moved forward Leon Draisaitl off the top line with Connor McDavid and put Jordan Eberle in his place on right wing. Eberle does not have a point in his past seven games. "Obviously, the goals haven't gone in like I've wanted them to," Eberle said. "But I have a chance in the last 26 games, the most meaningful games of the season, to start putting the puck in the net a little bit more and helping the team get into that playoff spot." The Oilers are two points behind the Anaheim Ducks for second place in the Pacific Division. The game against Arizona will be the second of a three-game homestand before Edmonton goes on a five-game road trip. "If we were playing the way we were prior to the all-star break, we wouldn't be making lineup changes," coach Todd McLellan said. "It's not just about Jordan and not just about Connor, it's about shaking everybody up and trying to get more out of them." Forward Iiro Pakarinen will make his season debut after sustaining a knee injury in a preseason game. He had a two-week conditioning stint with Bakersfield of the American Hockey League before rejoining the Oilers. "It's my first NHL game in a while, so I'm very excited," Pakarinen said. "I feel like a little kid again. I'll have to keep my first few shifts short and not lose my legs."

 

Coyotes projected lineup

Max Domi -- Martin Hanzal -- Radim Vrbata

Tobias Rieder -- Alex 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

Louis Domingue

Mike Smith

Scratched: Jakob Chychrun, Peter Holland

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

 

Oilers projected lineup

Patrick Maroon -- Connor McDavid -- Jordan Eberle

Milan Lucic -- Leon Draisaitl -- Anton Slepyshev

Drake Caggiula -- Ryan Nugent-Hopkins -- Zack Kassian

Matt Hendricks -- Mark Letestu -- Iiro Pakarinen

Andrej Sekera -- Matthew Benning

Oscar Klefbom -- Adam Larsson

Brandon Davidson -- Jordan Oesterle

Cam Talbot

Laurent Brossoit

Scratched: Eric Gryba

Injured: Darnell Nurse (foot), Tyler Pitlick (knee), Jujhar Khaira (upper body), Kris Russell (lower body), Benoit Pouliot (upper body)

 

Status report

Pouliot was injured crashing into the boards during practice Sunday and is day-to-day … Russell will miss his third straight game. 

 

Who's hot

McDavid has 11 points (four goals, seven assists) in his past 11 games. … Dvorak has seven points (five goals, two assists) in his past five games. … Ekman-Larsson has four assists in his past three games.

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