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Preview: Senators at Coyotes

Ottawa going for fifth consecutive win; Radim Vrbata of Arizona to play 1,000th NHL game

by Jerry Brown / Correspondent

SENATORS (37-22-6) at COYOTES (23-35-7)

9 p.m. ET; FS-A, RDS2, TSN5, NHL.TV


Senators team scope

The Ottawa Senators are looking for their fifth straight win and 11th in 15 games. A 10-4-0 surge has Ottawa four points behind the Montreal Canadiens for first place in the Atlantic Division and four points ahead of the third-place Boston Bruins. Forwards Alexandre Burrows and Viktor Stalberg, each acquired prior to the NHL Trade Deadline, have helped the offense, which is missing forwards Bobby Ryan, Chris Neil and Kyle Turris, each out with a finger injury. Burrows has four points (three goals, one assist) and Stalberg has three points (two goals, one assist) in four games with the Senators. Defenseman Mark Borowiecki will not play because of an undisclosed injury. Fredrik Claesson will take his spot on the third defense pair alongside Chris Wideman. Forward Christopher DiDomenico will make his NHL debut, playing on the third line with center Zack Smith and Ryan Dzingel. DiDomenico, 28, was a sixth-round pick (No. 164) of the Toronto Maple Leafs in the 2007 NHL Draft, and has played the past five seasons in Europe. He had 38 points (10 goals, 28 assists) in 48 games with SCL Tigers of National League A, the top professional league in Switzerland. Goaltender Mike Condon will make his first start since allowing five goals on 34 shots in a 5-1 loss at the Tampa Bay Lightning on Feb. 27.


Coyotes team scope

Forward Radim Vrbata will become the 310th player in NHL history to play in 1,000 games and 12th to reach the milestone as a member of the Arizona Coyotes/Winnipeg Jets franchise. "It's a big number and there is lots of emotion, but you want to focus on the game and the things you normally do," said Vrbata, who has 13 points (four goals, nine assists) in his past 13 games. "I've played half of my career here and I'm glad it worked out to where I get to play this game in front of Coyotes fans." Vrbata, who has 336 points (152 goals, 184 assists) in 493 games with the Coyotes, is 10 points from reaching the top 10 in franchise history. "He's not only a great player, he's just a consummate pro that always does things the right way," captain Shane Doan said. "He's been a huge part of our team for years and years." The power play has three goals in its past 35 attempts and is 27th in the NHL (14.8 percent). Goaltender Mike Smith will start; he has a 3.42 goals-against average and .891 save percentage in 12 career games against the Senators.


Senators projected lineup

Alexandre Burrows -- Derick Brassard -- Mark Stone

Mike Hoffman -- Jean-Gabriel Pageau -- Tom Pyatt

Ryan Dzingel -- Zack Smith -- Christopher DiDomenico

Viktor Stalberg -- Chris Kelly -- Tommy Wingels

Marc Methot -- Erik Karlsson

Dion Phaneuf -- Cody Ceci

Fredrik Claesson -- Chris Wideman

Mike Condon

Craig Anderson

Scratched: Jyrki Jokipakka

Injured: Clarke MacArthur (concussion), Bobby Ryan (broken finger), Chris Neil (broken finger), Kyle Turris (finger), Mark Borowiecki (undisclosed)


Coyotes projected lineup

Max Domi -- Christian Dvorak -- Radim Vrbata

Brendan Perlini -- Jordan Martinook -- Tobias Rieder

Lawson Crouse -- Josh Jooris -- Shane Doan

Jamie McGinn -- 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

Senators coach Guy Boucher said he'll use 12 forwards and six defensemen after dressing 11 forwards and seven defensemen in a 5-2 win at the Dallas Stars on Wednesday.


Who's hot

Karlsson has 14 points (three goals, 11 assists) in his past 13 games. Stone has nine points (two goals, seven assists) in his past eight games. ... Domi has 12 points (two goals, 10 assists) in his past 14 games.

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