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Mrazek could start for Carolina; Kessel of Arizona to play 830th consecutive game

by Alan Robinson / Independent Correspondent

HURRICANES (30-20-3) at COYOTES (27-21-7)



The Game

Phil Kessel will move into a tie for sixth place on the NHL all-time consecutive games played list when the Arizona Coyotes play the Carolina Hurricanes at Gila River Arena on Thursday.

The Coyotes forward, who will tie Andrew Cogliano (830), is third among active players in consecutive games played, trailing Keith Yandle (849) and Patrick Marleau (838).

The Coyotes, who won 3-0 against the Edmonton Oilers on Tuesday, are 1-3-2 in their past six games and 2-5-3 in their past 10 games. They have a point in eight straight home games (5-0-3).

Goalie Petr Mrazek could start or the Hurricanes. He is 5-0-1 with a 1.80 goals-against average, .930 save percentage and two shutouts in six games against the Coyotes, including a 32-save shutout in a 3-0 win Jan. 10.

The Hurricanes are 3-2-0 in their past five games after they went winless in three games (0-2-1).


Players to watch

Hurricanes forward Sebastian Aho has a goal in each of his past three games and has five points (three goals, two assists) in a four-game point streak.

Coyotes forward Conor Garland has a goal in each of his past two games and has nine points (four goals, five assists) in his past eight games.


They said it

"I think we definitely have to come out with a good jump. Our first periods have been lacking for a little bit. Even if we don't get that first one (goal), we've got to come out and play the right way and then we can build on it." -- Hurricanes forward Brock McGinn

"It makes it that much more of a team mentality, a pack mentality to really focus hard on defending, to limit their chances and continue to play in the offensive zone." -- Coyotes defenseman Jakob Chychrun on playing without injured defensemen Oliver Ekman-Larsson and Jason Demers


Hurricanes projected lineup

Andrei Svechnikov -- Sebastian Aho -- Warren Foegele

Nino Niederreiter -- Jordan Staal -- Teuvo Teravainen

Ryan Dzingel -- Erik Haula -- Justin Williams

Brock McGinn -- Lucas Wallmark -- Martin Necas

Jake Gardiner -- Brett Pesce

Haydn Fleury -- Joel Edmundson

Jaccob Slavin -- Trevor van Riemsdyk

Petr Mrazek

James Reimer

Scratched: None

Injured: Dougie Hamilton (fractured leg), Jordan Martinook (upper body)


Coyotes projected lineup

Taylor Hall -- Christian Dvorak -- Conor Garland

Lawson Crouse -- Derek Stepan -- Phil Kessel

Clayton Keller-- Nick Schmaltz -- Vinnie Hinostroza

Carl Soderberg -- Brad Richardson -- Christian Fischer

Alex Goligoski -- Jakob Chychrun

Jordan Oesterle -- Niklas Hjalmarsson

Aaron Ness -- Ilya Lyubushkin

Antti Raanta

Adin Hill

Scratched: Michael Grabner, Robbie Russo

Injured: Darcy Kuemper (lower body), Oliver Ekman-Larsson (lower body), Jason Demers (lower body)


Status report

Martinook is doubtful after the forward was injured in the second period of a 6-3 loss to the St. Louis Blues on Tuesday. … Niederreiter left practice early Wednesday but is expected to play. … Ekman-Larsson will miss his third consecutive game.


Stat pack

Carolina is 9-1-2 in its past 12 games against Arizona. … Teravainen has eight points (two goals, six assists) in his past seven games. … Hall has 10 points (four goals, six assists) in his past eight games.

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