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At the Rink: Jets at Coyotes

by Jerry Brown / NHL.com

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Arizona Coyotes captain Shane Doan has a chance at history Thursday against the Winnipeg Jets (9 p.m. ET; TSN3, FS-A PLUS), a team from the city where he started his NHL career.

Doan has 379 goals, tied with Dale Hawerchuk for the most in Coyotes/Winnipeg Jets history. Doan is the last active member of the original Winnipeg Jets, playing there as a rookie in 1995-96.

"It's unique; the fact that it's Winnipeg and they have a new team again, and we're playing them," Doan said. "It would be special for it to happen [Thursday] but who knows what will happen."

Doan had a hat trick in the Coyotes' 7-5 loss to the Chicago Blackhawks on Tuesday. He has five goals in his past four games, and 11 goals in 27 games this season.

Arizona coach Dave Tippett said he loves how Doan at 39 still brings a youthful enthusiasm to the rink each day.

"If you're looking for an unbelievable example of someone your young players can look up to, he's everything you could ask for," Tippett said. "His passion for the game, his commitment to doing everything right, his commitment to the organization; all the things that have made him the face of this franchise. When you have a lot of young players around it's great for them to see someone like Shane who sets the standard."

"He still loves playing. I got to my mid-30s as a player and my body was breaking down and you felt like you can't do it anymore. He goes the other way. He's the last one off the ice, shooting pucks like's he's still a young kid."

Two rookies goaltenders are expected to start Friday, Connor Hellebuyck for the Jets (17-17-2) against the Coyotes' Louis Domingue.

Hellebuyck, 22, will make his eighth start in the past nine games. He allowed one goal on 64 shots in back-to-back home wins against the Pittsburgh Penguins and Detroit Red Wings on Sunday and Tuesday. He made 30 saves in a 1-0 shutout of the Penguins and 33 saves in a 4-1 defeat of the Red Wings.

In 10 games this season he's 7-3-0 with a 2.01 goals-against average and .932 save percentage.

Now he will try to take his success on the road, where the Jets have lost five in a row and 11 of their past 12 (1-10-1).

Domingue, 23, won two of his first three games in place of Mike Smith, who is expected to miss another 6-8 weeks recovering from Dec. 15 abdominal surgery. But he has struggled in his last two games and allowed two soft goals in relief of Anders Lindback against the Blackhawks.

The Coyotes (17-16-3) are tied with the Calgary Flames for 29th in the League 3.22 goals-allowed per game; in 13 games since Dec. 1 they've allowed 3.92 goals per game. The Coyotes have allowed at least five goals in seven of the past 13 games and the penalty kill has allowed seven goals in 14 attempts in the past four games after allowing three in the first period against the Blackhawks.

"Better goaltending would help. Penalties would help. Better defense would help," Tippett said. "You can't give up six goals and an empty-netter and expect to win. It's just not going to work.

"We've had too many penalties-against, making too many errors on the [penalty kill] and not getting saves. When a [penalty kill] struggles you can usually find all three of those factors contributing."

There was good news on the injury front for Arizona; defensemen Oliver Ekman-Larsson and Zbynek Michalek, who were helped off the ice in the final moments against Chicago, practiced Wednesday and are expected in the lineup against Winnipeg.

Both had big nights against the Blackhawks. Ekman-Larsson tied an NHL single-game best with three assists and Michalek scored one of two goals by Coyotes defensemen, who now have 25 goals for the season and have scored in at least one in 13 of the past 18 games.

Here are the projected lineups:

JETS

Drew Stafford - Bryan Little - Blake Wheeler

Andrew Ladd - Adam Lowry - Alexander Burmistrov

Chris Thorburn - Mathieu Perreault - Nikolaj Ehlers

Joel Armia - Andrew Copp - Matt Halischuk

Jacob Trouba - Dustin Byfuglien

Toby Enstrom - Tyler Myers

Mark Stuart - Ben Chiarot

Connor Hellebuyck

Michael Hutchinson

Injured: Grant Clitsome (back), Ondrej Pavelec (knee), Mark Scheifele (concussion)

Scratched: Adam Pardy, Anthony Peluso, Paul Postma

COYOTES

Max Domi - Antoine Vermette - Mikkel Boedker

Tobias Rieder - Viktor Tikhonov - Anthony Duclair

Jordan Martinook - Brad Richardson - Shane Doan

John Scott - Kyle Chipchura - Craig Cunningham

Oliver Ekman-Larsson - Connor Murphy

Klas Dahlbeck - Zbynek Michalek

Nicklas Grossman - Michael Stone

Louis Domingue

Anders Lindback

Injured: Boyd Gordon (head), Martin Hanzal (lower body), Mike Smith (abdominal surgery), Joe Vitale (fractured orbital bone)

Scratched: Steve Downie, Stefan Elliott, Laurent Dauphin

Status report: Tippett said Hanzal and Gordon are improving but won't play until at least the weekend. … Scheifele (concussion) skated in a non-contact jersey. … Dauphin will be a healthy scratch after making his NHL debut against the Blackhawks. John Scott will replace him in the lineup.

Who's hot: Ekman-Larsson and Rieder both had three assists against Chicago. … Trouba had two goals in the win against the Red Wings on Tuesday.

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