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Turris could make season debut for Coyotes tonight

by Patrick Williams /
WINNIPEG -- Sub-freezing temperatures awaited the Phoenix Coyotes when they arrived in Winnipeg late Wednesday night.

Whether the reception from the boisterous 15,004 fans that fill the MTS Centre every night will provide the Coyotes an equally cold reception remains to be seen.

The Coyotes arrived in their ancestral home in possession of a two-game winning streak and will play a Winnipeg Jets club that they beat 4-1 in their home-opener, back on Oct. 15.

After netting just one goal in his first nine games, Radim Vrbata has exploded offensively for the Coyotes, scoring 11 goals in his past 14 games. Tuesday in Chicago, Vrbata had a goal and an assist, his sixth multi-point game this season.

The Coyotes have excelled away from home this season en route to producing the Western Conference’s second-best road mark (7-3-1). They've allowed only 19 goals in their past 10 road games.

"The basic premise is that we all have to play together or we are not going to win," Coyotes coach Dave Tippett said. "Our players have bought into that. I've liked that we've played a real good team game the past few games."

Tippett indicated that there is a possibility that center Kyle Turris could make his season debut tonight.

Here are Phoenix's projected lines and pairings for tonight:

Ray Whitney - Martin Hanzal - Radim Vrbata
Mikkel Boedker - Daymond Langkow - Shane Doan
Taylor Pyatt - Boyd Gordon - Lauri Korpikoski
Raffi Torres - Kyle Chipchura/Kyle Turris - Patrick O'Sullivan

Keith Yandle - Derek Morris
Oliver Ekman-Larsson - Adrian Aucoin
Rostislav Klesla - David Schlemko

Mike Smith will start in net for Phoenix, with Jason LaBarbera the backup.

For more on tonight's game, check out the preview here.
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