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Coyotes at Devils preview

Hischier returns for New Jersey; Arizona seeks sixth win in eight games

by Mike G, Morreale @mikemorrealeNHL / Staff Writer

COYOTES (5-3-1) at DEVILS (2-4-2)

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


The Game

Nico Hischier will return to the lineup when the New Jersey Devils play the Arizona Coyotes at Prudential Center on Friday.

Hischier missed the past two games with an upper-body injury. He has two assists in six games.

New Jersey will attempt to win its third straight game after starting 0-4-2. Goalie Mackenzie Blackwood will make his third straight start for the Devils.

The Coyotes, who play the third of a four-game road trip after a 4-2 loss at the New York Islanders on Thursday, are 5-1-1 in their past seven games. Goalie Antti Raanta will make his third start of the season for the Coyotes after Darcy Kuemper played against New York.


Players to watch

Coyotes forward Nick Schmaltz has nine points (three goals, six assists) in his past seven games.

Devils goalie Mackenzie Blackwood is 2-0-0 with a 1.00 goals-against average, a .964 save percentage and one shutout in his past two games.


They said it

"A little humble pie for the team. You've got to play with your nose over the puck, not on your heels. I thought we were on our heels a little bit [against the Islanders], so that's what happens." -- Coyotes coach Rick Tocchet

"The Coyotes are quick, fast and hard-working, but they also have some skill in their lineup. We have to be ready for a game that's not going to have a lot of time and space. We're going to have to fight for our ice and make sure, mentally and physically, that we're ready to play right off the bat." -- Devils coach John Hynes


Coyotes projected lineup

Clayton Keller -- Derek Stepan -- Phil Kessel

Conor Garland -- Christian Dvorak -- Nick Schmaltz

Lawson Crouse -- Carl Soderberg -- Christian Fischer

Michael Grabner -- Barrett Hayton -- Vinnie Hinostroza

Oliver Ekman-Larsson -- Jason Demers

Jakob Chychrun -- Alex Goligoski

Ilya Lyubushkin -- Kyle Capobianco

Antti Raanta

Darcy Kuemper

Scratched: Aaron Ness, Eric Comrie

Injured: Niklas Hjalmarsson (lower body), Jordan Oesterle (upper body), Brad Richardson (upper body)


Devils projected lineup

Taylor Hall -- Jack Hughes -- Kyle Palmieri

Blake Coleman -- Travis Zajac -- Wayne Simmonds

Pavel Zacha -- Nico Hischier -- Nikita Gusev

Miles Wood -- Kevin Rooney -- John Hayden

Damon Severson -- P.K. Subban

Andy Greene -- Sami Vatanen

Mirco Mueller -- Matt Tennyson

Mackenzie Blackwood

Cory Schneider

Scratched: Jesper Boqvist, Jesper Bratt, Will Butcher

Injured: Connor Carrick (upper body)


Status report

Neither team held a morning skate. ... Hayton could play after being a healthy scratch for the past five games.


Stat pack

Chychrun has four points (one goal, three assists) in his past four games. ... Goligoski has five points (one goal, four assists) in his past four games. ... The Coyotes are 7-for-21 on the power play in their past seven games but were 0-for-3 against the Islanders. ... The Devils are 12-for-12 on the penalty kill in their past two games. Hughes has a goal and an assist in his past two games after going without a point in his first six. ... Hall has three points (one goal, two assists) in his past three games.

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