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Coyotes at Devils preview

Arizona, which has lost 10 straight, hopes to avoid tying worst start to season in NHL history

by Mike G. Morreale @mikemorrealeNHL / NHL.com Staff Writer

COYOTES (0-9-1) at DEVILS (7-2-0)

7 p.m. ET; MSG+, FS-A PLUS, NHL.TV

 

The Game

The Arizona Coyotes hope to avoid equaling the worst start in NHL history when they play the New Jersey Devils at Prudential Center on Saturday. 

The Coyotes have lost 10 straight games to start the season, the worst since the 1967 expansion. A loss to the Devils would tie the record of 11 consecutive losses to start a season by the New York Rangers in 1943-44.

Goalie Cory Schneider, who hasn't played since Oct. 19 because of a lower-body injury, took part in an optional skate and was activated from injured reserve.

The Devils defeated the Ottawa Senators 5-4 on Friday and are off to the second-best nine-game start in franchise history. They were 8-1-0 after nine games in 1993-94.

 

Players to watch

Coyotes rookie forward Clayton Keller has seven points (four goals, three assists) during a four-game point streak. He leads all rookies with seven goals and 11 points in 10 games.

Forward Brian Gibbons, who signed a one-year, two-way contract worth $650,000 at the NHL level on July 1, leads the Devils with four goals and plus-7 rating.

 

They said it

"When you're losing games, you can lose confidence and belief; your energy level might go low. But the one thing I keep telling everyone is that we're really working hard in practice and that's helped. I feel we could have three or four wins. It's a 72-game schedule for us right now, and that's how we're going to approach it." -- Coyotes coach Rick Tocchet

"What [Gibbons] is doing was done in the preseason. He's an identity player for us. He's tenacious. He's got speed. He's very competitive. He did those things 5-on-5 in the preseason and we always knew he was a good penalty killer." -- Devils coach John Hynes

 
Coyotes projected lineup

Max Domi -- Derek Stepan -- Clayton Keller

Tobias Rieder -- Christian Dvorak -- Brendan Perlini

Anthony Duclair -- Brad Richardson -- Jordan Martinook

Mario Kempe -- Nick Cousins -- Christian Fischer

Oliver Ekman-Larsson -- Jason Demers

Alex Goligoski -- Luke Schenn

Niklas Hjalmarsson -- Adam Clendening

Louis Domingue

Scott Wedgewood

Scratched: Zac Rinaldo, Kevin Connauton

Injured: Antti Raanta (lower body), Jakob Chychrun (knee)

 

Devils projected lineup

Taylor Hall -- Nico Hischier -- Drew Stafford

Marcus Johansson -- Adam Henrique -- Jesper Bratt

Brian Gibbons -- Pavel Zacha -- Jimmy Hayes

Miles Wood -- Blake Coleman -- Stefan Noesen

Andy Greene -- Damon Severson

John Moore -- Steven Santini

Will Butcher -- Ben Lovejoy

Cory Schneider

Keith Kinkaid

Scratched: Dalton Prout, Mirco Mueller

Injured:  Travis Zajac (pectoral muscle), Kyle Palmieri (lower body), Brian Boyle (chronic myeloid leukemia)

 

Status report

Wedgewood was acquired from the Devils for a fifth-round pick in the 2018 NHL Draft on Saturday and will dress as Domingue's backup. Adin Hill, who played Thursday in a 5-2 loss to the New York Rangers, was sent to Tucson of the American Hockey League. Raanta, who remains day to day, will miss his seventh straight game. ... Chychrun, who had knee surgery on Aug. 3, resumed skating in Arizona this week and remains on track to return to the lineup this season. ... Palmieri is expected to miss his second straight game.

 

Stat pack

Stepan has four points (two goals, two assists) in his past four games. ... Butcher leads all NHL rookies in assists (10) and power-play points (six), and is tied for second with 10 points in nine games.

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