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Canucks at Coyotes preview

Arizona goes for fifth straight win, season sweep of Vancouver

by Alan Robinson / Correspondent

CANUCKS (27-28-9) at COYOTES (30-28-5)

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


The Game

The Arizona Coyotes will go for their fifth consecutive win and eighth in 10 games when they play the Vancouver Canucks at Gila River Arena on Thursday. 

The Coyotes won five in a row from Oct. 23-Nov. 2 and haven't had two five-game winning streaks in a season since 2011-12. They're three points behind the Colorado Avalanche for the second wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Western Conference and will try to sweep a season series against Vancouver for the first time since entering the NHL as the Winnipeg Jets in 1979-80.

The Canucks are playing the second of a back to back after a 3-2 shootout loss to the Avalanche on Wednesday. They trail Colorado by five points.


Players to watch

Canucks center Elias Pettersson has been held without a goal in his past five games.

Coyotes goalie Darcy Kuemper is 3-0-0 with a 1.93 goals-against average and .938 save percentage against Vancouver this season.


They said it

"It's frustrating, but our belief level is still high. … Every point matters right now. This is playoff hockey." -- Canucks forward Josh Leivo

"We're playing some pretty good hockey here (with) 18 games left. We've got a great group of guys, the young guys are close and the veterans are great, too. It's nice to be part of this group." -- Coyotes forward Conor Garland


Canucks projected lineup

Tanner Pearson -- Elias Pettersson -- Brock Boeser

Josh Leivo -- Bo Horvat -- Ryan Spooner

Antoine Roussel -- Markus Granlund -- Nikolay Goldobin

Loui Eriksson -- Jay Beagle -- Tyler Motte

Ben Hutton -- Troy Stecher

Derrick Pouliot -- Alex Biega

Ashton Sautner -- Luke Schenn

Thatcher Demko

Jacob Markstrom

Scratched: Guillaume Brisebois, Tim Schaller

Injured: Sven Baertschi (concussion), Alexander Edler (concussion), Adam Gaudette (illness), Brandon Sutter (lower body), Christopher Tanev (ankle), Jake Virtanen (rib)


Coyotes projected lineup

Lawson Crouse -- Derek Stepan -- Josh Archibald

Alex Galchenyuk -- Christian Dvorak -- Clayton Keller

Richard Panik -- Brad Richardson -- Vinnie Hinostroza

Mario Kempe -- Nick Cousins -- Conor Garland

Oliver Ekman-Larsson -- Niklas Hjalmarsson

Jakob Chychrun -- Alex Goligoski

Ilya Lyubushkin -- Jordan Oesterle

Darcy Kuemper

Calvin Pickard

Scratched: Kevin Connauton, Christian Fischer

Injured: Jason Demers (lower body), Antti Raanta (lower body), Michael Grabner (upper body), Nick Schmaltz (lower body), Kyle Capobianco (lower body)


Status report

Edler is close to returning and could be a game-time decision. … Gaudette was out Wednesday but might play. … Demers, out since Nov. 15, is day to day.


Stat pack

Vancouver is 7-7-1 in back-to-back sets this season, including 3-4-0 in the second game. … The Coyotes have 11 more wins and 27 more points than they did at this point last season (19-34-10).

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