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Canucks return home to welcome in Coyotes

by Mike G. Morreale

COYOTES (8-7-3) at CANUCKS (10-4-4)


Last 10: Phoenix 6-3-1; Vancouver 6-2-2

Season series: This is the first of three meetings and the first of two in Vancouver. The teams split the four-game series in 2011-12, with the Coyotes winning the finale on March 15 via a 5-4 decision in Vancouver.

Big story: Both teams are coming off road losses and will look to get to back on track in the Western Conference race. The Canucks, 5-2-2 at home, are tops in the Northwest Division and third in the West with 24 points. The Coyotes, fourth in the talent-laden Pacific, sit ninth in the West with 19 points. The game against Vancouver marks the third in four nights for Phoenix.

Team Scope:

Coyotes: Raffi Torres had two goals and Michael Stone and Nick Johnson also scored for the Coyotes in a 5-4 loss to the Calgary Flames on Sunday at Scotiabank Saddledome. Jarome Iginla scored the tying goal with 1:23 left in the third and Curtis Glencross scored 23 seconds later to give the Flames the win. Goalie Mike Smith, who is 2-2-1 with a 2.26 goals-against average in his past five starts, made 26 saves in the loss.

Canucks: Daniel Sedin had two goals, and Chris Higgins also had a goal but the Canucks dropped an 8-3 decision to the Detroit Red Wings at Joe Louis Arena. Roberto Luongo, who shut out the Nashville Predators on Friday, gave up all eight goals on 28 Detroit shots. Luongo entered the game with a 1.45 goals-against average and .941 save percentage, but when it was over he sported a 2.11 GAA and .916 save percentage.

"It's one of those games where it felt like the puck was finding its way in on almost every shot," Luongo said after the game.

Who's hot: Canucks center Henrik Sedin has two goals and 11 points in the past eight games. … Right wing Radim Vrbata, who missed Sunday's game with a lower-body injury and is day-to-day, has four goals and 12 points in 15 games to lead the Coyotes in scoring.

Injury report: The Coyotes have been shorthanded without forwards Vrbata (lower body) and Martin Hanzal (upper body), and defensemen Derek Morris (upper body) and David Schlemko (shoulder). … For the Canucks, forward David Booth (illness) and defenseman Kevin Bieksa (lower body) are day-to-day, and center Manny Malhotra (eye) is out.

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