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Philadelphia tries to avoid third loss in row; Raanta to make seventh straight start for Arizona

by Alan Robinson / Independent Correspondent

FLYERS (22-14-5) at COYOTES (23-16-4)



The Game

Goalie Antti Raanta will make his seventh consecutive start when the Arizona Coyotes go for their third straight win, against the Philadelphia Flyers at Gila River Arena on Saturday.

Raanta is 3-3-0 with a 2.85 goals-against average and .916 save percentage in his past six starts for the Coyotes, who have won two straight after going 1-4-0 in their previous five games.

The Flyers will try to avoid their third loss in a row; they're 1-3-0 in their past four games following a four-game winning streak. Philadelphia has allowed four power-play goals in as many opportunities in losing its past two games, giving up four goals in the first period of each.


Players to watch

Flyers forward Claude Giroux has six points (two goals, four assists) in a five-game point streak and 17 points (seven goals, 10 assists) in 17 games against Arizona.

Coyotes forward Taylor Hall has 23 points (10 goals, 13 points) in 19 games against Philadelphia.


They said it

"We need to work on a few things, iron out a few details. If you have good structure, it comes down to commitment. We'll get that structure fixed and we'll get back to being aggressive and seeing better results." -- Flyers defenseman Matt Niskanen on Philadelphia's penalty-killing unit

"It's tiring working in those pressure situations. But I just feel that [Raanta] deserves to do a workload for us, and it's paid off the last few games." -- Coyotes coach Rick Tocchet on goalie Antti Raanta, who will make his seventh straight start since Darcy Kuemper was injured


Flyers projected lineup

Claude Giroux -- Sean Couturier -- Jakub Voracek

James van Riemsdyk -- Kevin Hayes -- Travis Konecny

Joel Farabee -- Scott Laughton -- Tyler Pitlick

Michael Raffl -- Mikhail Vorobyev -- Nicolas Aube-Kubel

Ivan Provorov -- Matt Niskanen

Shayne Gostisbehere -- Justin Braun

Travis Sanheim -- Philippe Myers

Carter Hart

Brian Elliott

Scratched: Robert Hagg, Andy Andreoff, Chris Stewart

Injured: Oskar Lindblom (Ewing's sarcoma)


Coyotes projected lineup

Taylor Hall -- Christian Dvorak -- Conor Garland

Clayton Keller -- Carl Soderberg -- Nick Schmaltz

Lawson Crouse -- Derek Stepan -- Phil Kessel

Vinnie Hinostroza -- Brad Richardson -- Christian Fischer

Oliver Ekman-Larsson -- Jason Demers

Jakob Chychrun -- Alex Goligoski

Jordan Oesterle -- Ilya Lyubushkin

Antti Raanta 

Adin Hill

Scratched: Michael Grabner, Kyle Capobianco

Injured: Niklas Hjalmarsson (leg), Darcy Kuemper (lower body)


Status report

Hjalmarsson, out since Oct. 12, is practicing in a non-contact role and is expected to return soon. … Kuemper is back on the ice but is not yet practicing. … Grabner will be a healthy scratch for the third consecutive game.


Stat pack

Voracek has 11 points (two goals, nine assists) in his past eight games. … Couturier has 10 points (four goals, six assists) in his past nine games. … The Coyotes are 6-2-3 in their past 11 games against the Flyers. … Raanta's .920 save percentage is tied for the fifth best in NHL history among all goalies with at least 100 games played. … Schmaltz has 10 points (one goal, nine assists) in his past eight games.

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