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Surging Ducks provide tough test for Treutle

Anaheim goes for 10th straight win against Arizona goalie in first start

by Jerry Brown / Correspondent

DUCKS (35-19-8) at COYOTES (27-30-6)


GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Goalie Niklas Treutle will make his first NHL start for the Arizona Coyotes on Thursday at Gila River Arena as they try to snap the Anaheim Ducks' nine-game winning streak.

Treutle will start in place of another rookie, Louis Domingue, who has made the past 11 starts for Arizona and lost eight times, including 6-0 to the Pittsburgh Penguins on Monday to cap an 0-5-0 road trip.

"We're changing things up a little bit," Coyotes coach Dave Tippett said. "Louis started 11 in a row now, so we will give him a break. Nik is excited to play so we'll see what we get.

"We did some good things on the trip but the Pittsburgh game wasn't a good game at all, from the goalie on out. Nik works hard, he has a great attitude and he's played a lot games in the American Hockey League this year. Louie needs a little bit of a mental break; [Mike Smith] isn't ready yet, so we'll give the kid a chance."

Veteran forward Alex Tanguay, acquired from the Colorado Avalanche in the Mikkel Boedker trade on Monday, could make his Coyotes debut against the Ducks, who can tie the franchise record of 10 straight wins.

Forwards Jiri Sekac and Sergei Plotnikov, who were each acquired by Arizona during the long road trip, will play at Gila River Arena for the first time as Coyotes.

Defenseman Zbynek Michalek was the only Coyote who did not participate in the morning skate Tippett said he will be a game-time decision.

Tanguay skated with Antoine Vermette and Anthony Duclair on Wednesday but Tippett said he isn't sure if he will play against the Ducks.

"He's dealing with a couple of minor things, but we just want to make sure he's ready to play," Tippett said.

Tanguay, 36, had to waive a no-trade clause to come to Arizona and said he feels he still has some good hockey left in him.

"There's not a whole lot of years left for me to play hockey, but I still love the game," said Tanguay, in his 15th NHL season. "I'd like to keep going. You have to prove yourself and certainly that will be the case for me and I will try my best to do that."

Arizona has won three of the four games with Anaheim this season, but three of those games came early in the season when the Coyotes were surging and the Ducks were floundering. That has changed dramatically in the last six weeks.

As the Coyotes come off their winless road trip, the Ducks are 16-1-1 since Jan. 20 after a 3-2 shootout victory against the Montreal Canadiens on Tuesday. The Ducks were behind the Coyotes in the Pacific Division standings when that stretch began; Anaheim moved 18 points ahead of Arizona on Tuesday.

Frederik Andersen will start in goal for the Ducks after Gibson got the win against Montreal.  

"They are playing to their potential right now and their top players have a real impact on the game," Tippett said of the Ducks. "They are a solid, deep team that plays a team game."

Here are the projected lineups:

David Perron - Ryan Getzlaf - Mike Santorelli
Jamie McGinn - Rickard Rakell - Corey Perry
Andrew Cogliano - Ryan Kesler - Jakob Silfverberg
Nick Ritchie - Nate Thompson - Ryan Garbutt

Cam Fowler - Kevin Bieksa
Hampus Lindholm - Josh Manson
Clayton Stoner - Sami Vatanen

Frederik Andersen
John Gibson

Injured: Chris Stewart (jaw), Brandon Pirri (ankle), Simon Despres (flu)
Scratched: Korbinian Holzer

Tobias Rieder - Martin Hanzal - Jiri Sekac
Max Domi - Brad Richardson - Shane Doan
Alex Tanguay - Antoine Vermette - Anthony Duclair
Jordan Martinook - Kyle Chipchura - Sergei Plotnikov

Oliver Ekman-Larsson - Connor Murphy
Kevin Connauton - Zbynek Michalek
Niklas Grossmann - Michael Stone

Niklas Treutle
Louis Domingue

Injured: Boyd Gordon (upper body), Mike Smith (abdominal surgery), Anders Lindback (Achilles surgery), Joe Vitale (fractured orbital bone)
Scratched: Craig Cunningham, Klas Dahlbeck, Viktor Tikhonov, Jarred Tinordi
Status report: Despres did not travel with the team and will miss a second game due to the flu. … If Tanguay does not play, Tikhonov is an option for Arizona. He has rejoined the team after his wife gave birth to their second child Monday. Gordon, out for the past 12 games, is back skating with the team and his status has been upgraded to day-to-day.
Who's hot: Perry has four goals in his past two games. … Duclair has five goals in four games against the Ducks. … Domi has four goals and 10 points in the past eight home games. Ekman-Larsson has 12 power-play goals, one shy of the franchise record for defensemen held by Fredrik Olausson in 1990-91. … Kesler has three goals and five points in four games against the Coyotes.

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