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Coyotes at Golden Knights preview

Arizona is 6-2-1 in past nine games; Subban expected to start third straight for Vegas

by Danny Webster / Independent Correspondent

COYOTES (15-8-3) at GOLDEN KNIGHTS (12-11-4)



The game

The Arizona Coyotes will try for their seventh win in 10 games when they play the Vegas Golden Knights at T-Mobile Arena on Friday.

The Coyotes, who trail the Edmonton Oilers by two points for first place in the Pacific Division, are 6-2-1 in their past nine games. Arizona is coming off a 4-3 shootout victory against the Anaheim Ducks on Wednesday. 

Goalie Darcy Kuemper is expected to start for Arizona. Kuemper, who leads the NHL with a 2.03 goals-against average, is 3-1-1 in his past five starts with a .938 save percentage.

The Golden Knights have earned a point in four of their past six games (3-2-1) after losing their previous four in regulation. Vegas is coming off a 4-3 overtime victory at the Nashville Predators on Wednesday. 

Malcolm Subban is expected to make his third consecutive start for the Golden Knights in place of Marc-Andre Fleury, who is on personal leave.


Players to watch

Coyotes forward Vinnie Hinostroza has four points (two goals, two assists) during a four-game point streak.

Golden Knights forward Mark Stone has five points (three goals, two assists) in his past six games.


They said it

"You've got to play hard in this league, and sometimes we want to play a softer game. I'm not calling the players out, but I am calling out the fact that we have to play harder in situations, especially defensively. I'm happy we won [Wednesday], and we're two points behind Edmonton and all that stuff, but we've got to play harder defensively." -- Coyotes coach Rick Tocchet 

"You need these games right now, especially against division opponents. The energy in the locker room was different. That's the message to us and around the guys: if you want that to continue, you have to keep doing things on the ice." -- Golden Knights defenseman Nate Schmidt


Coyotes projected lineup

Clayton Keller -- Nick Schmaltz -- Phil Kessel

Christian Dvorak -- Derek Stepan -- Vinnie Hinostroza

Barrett Hayton -- Carl Soderberg -- Conor Garland

Michael Grabner -- Brad Richardson -- Christian Fischer

Jakob Chychrun -- Alex Goligoski

Oliver Ekman-Larsson -- Jason Demers

Ilya Lyubushkin -- Jordan Oesterle

Darcy Kuemper

Eric Comrie

Scratched: Antti Raanta, Aaron Ness

Injured: Lawson Crouse (upper body), Niklas Hjalmarsson (lower body)


Golden Knights projected lineup

Jonathan Marchessault -- William Karlsson -- Reilly Smith

Max Pacioretty -- Paul Stastny -- Mark Stone

Alex Tuch -- Cody Eakin -- Cody Glass

William Carrier -- Tomas Nosek -- Ryan Reaves

Brayden McNabb -- Nate Schmidt

Nicolas Hague -- Shea Theodore

Jon Merrill -- Nick Holden

Malcolm Subban

Garret Sparks

Scratched: Marc-Andre Fleury (personal leave), Deryk Engelland

Injured: None


Status report

There is no timetable for Fleury's return. … Vegas reassigned forward Valentin Zykov to Chicago of the American Hockey League on Thursday. He finished serving a 20-game suspension for violating the terms of the NHL/NHLPA Performance Enhancing Substances Program. 


Stat pack

Kessel has six points (five goals, one assist) in five games against Vegas. … Schmaltz leads Arizona with 10 points (three goals, seven assists) on the road. … Arizona is 6-1-2 against Pacific Division opponents; Vegas is 6-3-1.

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