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Coyotes get Smith, Grossmann back against Ducks

by Jerry Brown /

DUCKS (8-10-4) at COYOTES (10-9-1)


GLENDALE, Ariz. -- The Arizona Coyotes will have goalie Mike Smith and defenseman Nicklas Grossmann back in the lineup Wednesday against the Anaheim Ducks.

Grossmann has missed the past seven games with a lower-body injury but took part in the past two full practices since the Coyotes returned from a 1-3-0 road trip. He had been playing well when he went down Nov. 7 against the New York Rangers. The injury occurred two nights after the first two-goal game of his NHL career against the Colorado Avalanche.

Smith sustained a lower-body injury during a 3-2 win against the Montreal Canadiens on Nov. 19 and sat in favor of Anders Lindback during a 5-2 loss against the Winnipeg Jets on Saturday. Smith coming back was important to Arizona with a stretch of three home games in four nights beginning with Anaheim.

"Smith says he's ready to go," Arizona coach Dave Tippett said. "He's had two good days of practice and says he's feeling good.

"Grossmann had some time here to give him the confidence that he can go, so he's ready to get back in. Certain injuries you know how long you're going to be out, and he did a good job managing things."

Forward Steve Downie remains out of the lineup with an upper-body injury. The Coyotes recalled forward Dustin Jeffrey and he will likely be in the lineup.

The Coyotes will be looking for their third win in as many games against the Ducks this season, with rookie forwards Anthony Duclair (four goals) and Max Domi (three) combining for seven of Arizona's eight goals in the first two wins. Duclair had a hat trick in a 4-0 shutout against the Ducks on Oct. 14. Domi had two second-period goal as the Coyotes rallied from 2-0 down for a 4-3 overtime win on Nov. 9.

"Our forecheck was very good against them in those two games and something we have to keep up with," Tippett said. "But Anaheim is playing much better now than they were then."

Ducks captain Ryan Getzlaf assisted on all five Anaheim goals in 5-2 win against the Calgary Flames on Tuesday. Getzlaf's linemates, Corey Perry and Rickard Rakell, had two goals each in the win.

Here are the projected lineups:


Rickard Rakell - Ryan Getzlaf - Corey Perry

Nick Ritchie - Ryan Kesler - Jakob Silfverberg

Carl Hagelin - Shawn Horcoff - Andrew Cogliano

Patrick Maroon - Mike Santorelli - Chris Stewart

Cam Fowler - Kevin Bieksa

Sami Vatanen - Clayton Stoner

Hampus Lindholm - Josh Manson

John Gibson

Anton Khudobin

Injured: Nate Thompson (shoulder), Simon Despres (concussion symptoms), Jiri Sekac (ankle), Frederik Andersen (illness)

Scratched: Korbinian Holzer, Chris Mueller


Tobias Rieder - Martin Hanzal - Mikkel Boedker

Max Domi - Brad Richardson - Anthony Duclair

Jordan Martinook - Antoine Vermette - Shane Doan

Kyle Chipchura - Boyd Gordon - Dustin Jeffrey

Oliver Ekman-Larsson - Michael Stone

Nicklas Grossmann - Connor Murphy

Klas Dahlbeck - Zbynek Michalek

Mike Smith

Anders Lindback

Injured: Steve Downie (upper body), Joe Vitale (broken orbital bone)

Scratched: Craig Cunningham, Stefan Elliott, John Scott

Status report: Andersen (flu) didn't make the trip to Arizona. Gibson, who took over for Khudobin in the first period and got the win against the Flames, could get the start. … Downie was on the ice for the optional skate Wednesday and could play by sometime this weekend. … With Smith and Grossmann now back, the Coyotes sent defenseman Philip Samuelsson and goalie Louis Domingue back to the Springfield Falcons of the American Hockey League.

Who's hot: Getzlaf is coming off the second five-assist game in his career and the first in seven years. … The Ducks enter the game as the NHL's best penalty-killing team with an 88.5 percent success rate, but the Coyotes had a power-play goal in each win against Anaheim this season.

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