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Tippett shaking things up with Coyotes' lines

by Jerry Brown /
GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Whether he's impressed with his young players or disappointed with his veterans after eight games this season, Phoenix coach Dave Tippett has shaken up all four of his forward line combinations after a 3-3-2 start that isn't sitting well with anyone.
The veteran No. 1 line of Ray Whitney, Daymond Langkow and captain Shane Doan has been broken up and the players scattered among the other lines. Rookie center Andy Miele earned a promotion after only his second NHL game and is now centering a line with Doan and young winger Mikkel Boedker. All three earned plenty of ice time in Tuesday's 3-2 overtime loss to Dallas.
Miele has yet to record his first NHL point and has been weak on faceoffs (0-5 against Dallas), but his offensive creativity is obvious and the Coyotes, who have scored two goals or less in three of the last four games, could use the boost.
Langkow, off to a very slow start with just 1 goal in the first eight games, was dropped to the fourth line during the second period of the Dallas game and was practicing with winger Patrick O'Sullivan and Taylor Pyatt on Thursday. Whitney has moved into Boedker's spot alongside Martin Hanzal and Radim Vrbata. That line was very effective at times last season and might succeed in giving a jump-start to Vrbata, who also has 1 goal in the first eight games and has struggled to find his groove.
At this time, the Coyotes are happy to see any opponent not named the Stars, after Dallas rallied from a goal down for the second time in 15 days and turned what looked like a Phoenix win into an eventual shootout loss. But the Phoenix franchise has had particular success on home ice against the Devils, winning 23 of 33 all-time meetings (23-7-3), including six of nine meetings since moving to Arizona. The Devils haven't beaten the Coyotes on the road since the 2002-03 season and will be playing without Hall of Fame goalie-to-be Martin Brodeur, who will miss his fifth straight game with a bruised right shoulder.
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