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Preview: Hurricanes at Coyotes

Goalie Eddie Lack starts for Carolina; Arizona forward Radim Vrbata to play in 999th NHL game

by Jerry Brown / NHL.com Correspondent

HURRICANES (25-26-10) at COYOTES (23-34-7)

8:30 p.m. ET; FS-A PLUS, FS-CR NHL.TV

 

Hurricanes team scope

Goalie Eddie Lack will start for the Carolina Hurricanes. It will be Lack's first start since coach Bill Peters criticized his play this season Friday. Lack's .873 save percentage is the lowest of any goalie who has played at least 10 games. "We talked Friday that this was going to be his start," Peters said. "He's two games under .500 for the season (2-4-2) and typically, as a coach, if your goalie can go .500 you can live with that. There are still enough hockey games left to have a strong finish." The Hurricanes have lost four straight and are 1-6-3 in their past 10 games, including a 4-2 home loss to the Arizona Coyotes on Friday. "We didn't give up much but when we did they were doozies and they were all off the rush," Peters said. "We have to do a better job through the neutral zone."

 

Coyotes team scope

Forward Radim Vrbata will play in his 999th NHL game. Vrbata, who was named an alternate captain on Saturday, has 24 points (six goals, 18 assists) since Jan. 13; his 18 assists during that span are tied for fourth in the NHL. Goalie Mike Smith will start and look to end a three-game losing streak after allowing a combined eight goals in road losses to the Boston Bruins (4-1) and Buffalo Sabres (6-3). He has lost three straight. "Two empty netters," coach Dave Tippett said of the loss in Buffalo, which was a 4-3 game before the Sabres scored twice after Smith left for an extra attacker. "He played well." The Coyotes begin a four-game homestand after finishing six games in nine nights (2-4-0) with the win at Carolina. "We know what we have to do to win and clean up some areas from the other game against them," defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson said. "They're a high-skilled team, a lot of quick forwards. If we can play with the puck a lot and don't let them have the pick we can have a better chance to win."

 

Hurricanes projected lineup

Phillip Di Giuseppe -- Jordan Staal -- Teuvo Teravainen

Sebastian Aho -- Victor Rask -- Elias Lindholm

Jeff Skinner -- Jay McClement -- Lee Stempniak

Joakim Nordstrom -- Derek Ryan -- Patrick Brown

Jaccob Slavin -- Justin Faulk

Noah Hanifin -- Brett Pesce

Matt Tennyson -- Ryan Murphy

Eddie Lack

Cam Ward

Scratched: Klas Dahlbeck

Injured: Brock McGinn (upper body)

 

Coyotes projected lineup

Max Domi -- Christian Dvorak -- Radim Vrbata

Brendan Perlini -- Jordan Martinook -- Shane Doan

Jamie McGinn -- Josh Jooris -- Tobias Rieder

Lawson Crouse -- Peter Holland -- Anthony Duclair

Oliver Ekman-Larsson -- Luke Schenn

Alex Goligoski -- Connor Murphy

Jakob Chychrun -- Anthony DeAngelo

Mike Smith

Louis Domingue

Scratched: Teemu Pulkkinen

Injured: Alexander Burmistrov (upper body), Kevin Connauton (upper body), Brad Richardson (broken leg)

 

Status report

Tennyson replaces Dahlbeck. "Two righties, so they will sort out who plays on the left side," Peters said. … Dvorak will play with Domi and Vrbata for the first time, with Martinook moving between Perlini and Doan. Burmistrov remains day to day and Connauton is week to week, according to Tippett.

 

Who's hot

Lindholm has one goal and three assists in his past four games … Vrbata has a point in 11 of his past 12 games (four goals, nine assists). … Domi has a goal and six assists in his past seven games.

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