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Coyotes at Canadiens preview

Raanta expected to start for Arizona after Kuemper injury; Montreal eyes season-high fourth straight win

by Sean Farrell / Independent Correspondent

COYOTES (27-23-7) at CANADIENS (27-23-7)


The Game

Goalie Antti Raanta is expected to start for the Arizona Coyotes against the Montreal Canadiens at Bell Centre on Monday after Darcy Kuemper sustained a lower-body injury during the morning skate.


Kuemper, who has missed 20 games with a lower-body injury, is day to day. He has not played since Dec. 19.

Raanta had a lower-body injury that kept him out of a 4-2 loss at the Boston Bruins on Feb. 8.

Adin Hill will be the backup for the Coyotes, who are 2-7-3 since Jan. 9. They're one point behind the Calgary Flames for the second wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Western Conference and two behind the Winnipeg Jets, who hold the first wild card.

The Canadiens will try for a season-high fourth straight win. They're 9-3-0 following an 0-7-1 skid and six points back of the Carolina Hurricanes for the second wild card from the East.

Players to watch

Coyotes forward Taylor Hall has 11 points (four goals, seven assists) in his past 10 games.

Canadiens goalie Carey Price is 8-2-0 with a 1.58 goals-against-average and.950 save percentage in his past 10 games.

They said it

"They like to funnel pucks and they're a good counterattack team. And they've got some forwards that are not scared to go to the net. Brendan Gallagher's a small guy but if you look, he makes a living in front (of the net). They have some players like that, so we've got to box out." -- Coyotes coach Rick Tocchet

"We just can't afford to have letdowns. We can't afford to lose too many games. So we've just got to stay the course here and continue to play one game at a time and understand how important that win is to us in the standings." -- Canadiens coach Claude Julien

Coyotes projected lineup

Taylor Hall -- Christian Dvorak -- Conor Garland

Lawson Crouse -- Derek Stepan -- Phil Kessel

Clayton Keller -- Nick Schmaltz -- Vinnie Hinostroza

Carl Soderberg -- Brad Richardson -- Christian Fischer

Oliver Ekman-Larsson -- Ilya Lyubushkin

Jakob Chychrun -- Alex Goligoski

Jordan Oesterle -- Niklas Hjalmarsson

Antti Raanta

Adin Hill

Scratched: Aaron Ness, Michael Grabner

Injured: Jason Demers (lower body), Darcy Kuemper (lower body)

Canadiens projected lineup

Tomas Tatar -- Phillip Danault -- Brendan Gallagher

Ilya Kovalchuk -- Nick Suzuki -- Joel Armia

Jonathan Drouin -- Max Domi -- Artturi Lehkonen

Nick Cousins -- Nate Thompson -- Jake Evans

Brett Kulak -- Jeff Petry

Ben Chiarot -- Victor Mete

Marco Scandella -- Xavier Ouellet

Carey Price

Charlie Lindgren

Scratched: Christian Folin, Jordan Weal, Dale Weise

Injured: Shea Weber (lower body), Paul Byron (knee)

Status report

Ekman-Larsson is a game-time decision after practicing for a second straight day. He's missed four games with a lower-body injury.  … The Canadiens will use the same lineup for a second straight game. … Byron, a forward, is expected to be on Montreal's two-game road trip. Weber will not. The Canadiens are waiting for swelling to go down to further assess the defenseman.

Stat pack

Dvorak has scored five goals in his past eight games. … Kovalchuk has 12 points (six goals, six assists) in 15 games since signing with Montreal on Jan. 3. He leads the Canadiens with three game-winning goals, including his second overtime goal Saturday.

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