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Coyotes captain Doan remains out against Blues

by Louie Korac

COYOTES (13-13-1) at BLUES (15-8-4)


ST. LOUIS -- The slumping Arizona Coyotes will not have captain Shane Doan for an eighth straight game but will have top-line center Martin Hanzal against the St. Louis Blues on Tuesday.

Doan, who has been dealing with a lower-body injury and hasn't played since Nov. 21 against the Winnipeg Jets, skated Tuesday morning, but coach Dave Tippett said his captain is unavailable.

"He's not ready to go," Tippett said of Doan.

Hanzal, who did not participate in practice Monday with what Tippett called "a maintenance day," will be available to play.

The Coyotes, who wrap up a five-game trip, have lost the first four games and have been outscored 20-9. They've dropped five in a row away from Gila River Arena.

"This road trip hasn't gone the way we've wanted to," defenseman Zbynek Michalek said. "We haven't played our best and we all know that. It's a big test tonight playing against a good team. We have to go out there and play a solid game for 60 minutes and play our game.

"It would be huge [to get a win Tuesday]. This trip hasn't gone the way we wanted to. We have to get back to our basics and do it on a consistent basis. We proved when we've played the right way, we can play against any team. But we've gotten away from that."

The Blues, who have lost three in a row (0-2-1) and five of seven (2-2-3), feel a sense of urgency to getting their game back on track.

"It's (27) games into the season. I know one thing, you can't manufacture that with the players," coach Ken Hitchcock said. "You could talk about it all you want as a coach, but it has to be inside the locker room and I think sometimes, you need certain situations to create that sense of urgency. I think we had one of them against Toronto. You don't really know that until you play the next few games. You don't get an answer after one hockey game; you get it after a couple weeks.

"I don't think it's an urgency to win a hockey game. It's a sense of urgency and commitment to do it the right way and to build really good minutes. I think that's what we're looking for. Regardless of the outcome tonight, we want to know at the end of the night if we've built good minutes in our game. That's what we want to do."

Both teams held optional skates Tuesday.

Mike Smith starts in goal for the Coyotes and Jake Allen is in net for the Blues.

Here are the projected lineups:


Max Domi - Martin Hanzal - Mikkel Boedker

Tobias Rieder - Antoine Vermette - Anthony Duclair

Jordan Martinook - Brad Richardson - Kyle Chipchura

John Scott - Boyd Gordon - Steve Downie

Oliver Ekman-Larsson - Michael Stone

Klas Dahlbeck - Zbynek Michalek

Nicklas Grossman - Stefan Elliott

Mike Smith

Anders Lindback

Injured: Joe Vitale (fractured orbital bone), Shane Doan (lower body)

Scratched: Viktor Tikhonov, Dustin Jeffrey, Connor Murphy


Magnus Paajarvi - Paul Stastny - Vladimir Tarasenko

Alexander Steen - David Backes - Troy Brouwer

Dmitrij Jaskin - Jori Lehtera - Robby Fabbri

Scottie Upshall - Kyle Brodziak - Ryan Reaves

Jay Bouwmeester - Alex Pietrangelo

Petteri Lindbohm - Kevin Shattenkirk

Carl Gunnarsson - Colton Parayko

Jake Allen

Brian Elliott

Injured: Jaden Schwartz (ankle), Patrik Berglund (shoulder), Steve Ott (hamstring)

Scratched: Scott Gomez, Robert Bortuzzo

Status report: Lindbohm will make his season debut after playing 20 games for Chicago of the American Hockey League; he played in 23 NHL games last season. "Play a simple, hard, edgy game, which is what he's known for. That's the way he plays, and he's very good at it," Hitchcock said of Lindbohm, who will start a game with Shattenkirk for the first time. ... Tippett didn't rule Tikhonov, who was claimed on waivers from the Chicago Blackhawks on Sunday, out of the lineup Tuesday.

Who's hot: Backes has five goals and two assists the past three games against Arizona; Steen has two goals and five assists the past five games vs. the Coyotes. ... Ekman-Larsson has a point in four of the past six games. Elliott has a goal and two assists the past two games.

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