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game preview

Coyotes at Golden Knights preview

Fleury returns in goal for Vegas; Kuemper to make 22nd consecutive start for Arizona

by Danny Webster / NHL.com Correspondent

COYOTES (38-34-8) at GOLDEN KNIGHTS (43-30-7)

10 p.m. ET; ATTSN-RM, FS-A, NHL.TV

 

The Game

Marc-Andre Fleury will be in goal for the Vegas Golden Knights in their regular-season home finale against the Arizona Coyotes at T-Mobile Arena on Thursday.

Fleury, who missed the past nine games with a lower-body injury, has not played since making 40 saves in a 2-1 victory at the Dallas Stars on March 15. The Golden Knights will finish third in the Pacific Division and play the San Jose Sharks in the Western Conference First Round.

The Coyotes can be eliminated from contention for the Stanley Cup Playoffs if they lose in any fashion or the Colorado Avalanche earn at least one point against the Winnipeg Jets on Thursday. Arizona is 2-4-3 in its past nine games.

Goalie Darcy Kuemper will start his 22nd consecutive game for Arizona. Kuemper left at 3:29 of the third period in the Coyotes' 3-1 loss to the Los Angeles Kings on Tuesday after taking a stick to the face.

 

Players to watch

Coyotes defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson has eight points (five goals, three assists) in his past 11 games.

Golden Knights forward Jonathan Marchessault has 11 points (five goals, six assists) in his past nine games.

 

They said it

"Our job is to come in and do the same thing. I know guys are down, but we've got to worry about winning in Vegas. Win a game, maybe [the Avalanche] lose a game and all of a sudden it changes." -- Coyotes coach Rick Tocchet

"I watched that team play for the last 2 1/2 months and they deserve a ton of credit. They're competing hard." -- Golden Knights coach Gerard Gallant on the Coyotes

 

Coyotes projected lineup

Richard Panik -- Derek Stepan -- Clayton Keller

Michael Grabner -- Brad Richardson -- Vinnie Hinostroza

Lawson Crouse -- Christian Dvorak -- Josh Archibald

Alex Galchenyuk -- Nick Cousins -- Conor Garland

Oliver Ekman-Larsson -- Jason Demers

Alex Goligoski -- Niklas Hjalmarsson

Kevin Connauton -- Jordan Oesterle

Darcy Kuemper

Calvin Pickard

Scratched: Jakob Chychrun, Mario Kempe, Ilya Lyubushkin, Christian Fischer, Adin Hill

Injured: Antti Raanta (lower body), Nick Schmaltz (lower body), Kyle Capobianco (lower body)

 

Golden Knights projected lineup

Jonathan Marchessault -- William Karlsson -- Reilly Smith

Max Pacioretty -- Paul Stastny -- Mark Stone

Brandon Pirri -- Cody Eakin -- Alex Tuch

William Carrier -- Pierre-Edouard Bellemare -- Ryan Reaves

Nate Schmidt -- Brayden McNabb

Nick Holden -- Shea Theodore

Jon Merrill -- Colin Miller

Marc-Andre Fleury

Malcolm Subban

Scratched: Tomas Nosek, Ryan Carpenter, Valentin Zykov, Deryk Engelland, Jimmy Schuldt

Injured: Erik Haula (lower body)

 

Status report

Arizona recalled Hill from Tucson of the American Hockey League on Wednesday. … Stastny (undisclosed) practiced Wednesday and is expected to play after missing the past two games.

 

Stat pack

Richardson is one goal from 100 in the NHL. … Fleury is one win from 440 in the NHL, and Miller is one point from 100. Stone and Karlsson are the only teammates in the NHL to have 20 goals, 50 blocked shots and 70 takeaways apiece this season.

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