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Coyotes at Oilers preview

Raanta could return for Arizona; Edmonton goes for sixth win in eight games

by Derek Van Diest / Independent Correspondent

COYOTES (26-19-5) at OILERS (25-18-5)



The Game

Goalie Antti Raanta could start for the Arizona Coyotes when they play the Edmonton Oilers at Rogers Place on Saturday.

Raanta will dress after missing the past three games with a lower-body injury.

Arizona is 1-3-1 in its past five after winning its previous four.

Forward Taylor Hall will play against Edmonton for the first time with Arizona. He was selected No. 1 by the Oilers in the 2010 NHL Draft and played his first six seasons in Edmonton. He has 14 points (six goals, eight assists) in 15 games with the Coyotes since being traded from the New Jersey Devils on Dec. 16.

Edmonton is in fifth place in the Pacific Division, two points behind Arizona, which is tied with the Calgary Flames for first.

The Oilers are 5-1-1 in their past seven games after going 2-7-1 in their previous 10.


Players to watch

Coyotes forward Christian Dvorak has three points (one goal, two assists) in a three-game point streak.

Oilers forward Leon Draisaitl has 12 points (five goals, seven assists) in a seven-game point streak.


They said it

"Alberta is a place where I spent a lot of years of my life, so it's always special to me and it's always a game that I look forward to and get to see some friends in town. It's always fun to come back here." -- Coyotes forward Taylor Hall on returning to Edmonton

"It is tight and it's going to be tight for the rest of the year. It's fun when it's tight and every point matters, especially here with the divisional games. It's going to be real crucial for us to be ready and try to get some points out of them." -- Oilers defenseman Oscar Klefbom on the race in the Pacific


Coyotes projected lineup

Taylor Hall -- Christian Dvorak -- Conor Garland

Lawson Crouse -- Derek Stepan -- Phil Kessel

Nick Schmaltz -- Carl Soderberg -- Clayton Keller

Michael Grabner -- Michael Chaput -- Vinnie Hinostroza

Oliver Ekman-Larsson -- Jason Demers

Jakob Chychrun -- Alex Goligoski

Ilya Lyubushkin -- Niklas Hjalmarsson

Antti Raanta

Adin Hill

Scratched: Christian Fischer, Jordan Oesterle, Kyle Capobianco

Injured: Darcy Kuemper (lower body), Barrett Hayton (shoulder), Brad Richardson (lower body)


Oilers projected lineup

James Neal -- Connor McDavid -- Josh Archibald

Ryan Nugent-Hopkins -- Leon Draisaitl -- Kailer Yamamoto

Joakim Nygard -- Riley Sheahan -- Patrick Russell

Sam Gagner -- Gaetan Haas -- Alex Chiasson

Oscar Klefbom -- Ethan Bear

Darnell Nurse -- Adam Larsson

Kris Russell -- Caleb Jones

Mike Smith

Mikko Koskinen

Scratched: William Lagesson, Jujhar Khaira

Injured: Matt Benning (head)

Suspended: Zack Kassian


Status report

Arizona recalled Capobianco, a defenseman, from Tucson of the American Hockey League and assigned goalie Ivan Prosvetov there Friday. … Kassian, a forward, will serve the second of his two-game suspension for an altercation with Flames forward Matthew Tkachuk on Saturday.


Stat pack

Hall has six points (three goals, three assists) in a three-game point streak. … McDavid has 10 points (three goals, seven assists) in a five-game point streak. … Nugent-Hopkins has 11 points (six goals, five assists) in his past seven games.

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