Coyotes look to even score vs. Blue Jackets

The exceptional goaltending of Mike Smith since his return from the injured list has kept the Arizona Coyotes in most every game they've played, but if the Coyotes hope to go from competitive to victorious, the rest of the lineup will have to take a step forward.

They won't have a choice on Monday, as Smith will get the night off and be replaced in goal by Louis Domingue when the Coyotes conclude a quick home-and-home series against the Blue Jackets in Columbus.

The game can be seen on FOX Sports Arizona and FOX Sports Go, starting at 4:30 p.m.

The Blue Jackets escaped Arizona with a 3-2 shootout win on Saturday night. It was the third consecutive one-goal loss for the Coyotes (8-11-4) — one in regulation, one in overtime and one in a shootout.

Smith stopped a career-best and franchise-record 58 shots Saturday — the third time in four games that he's faced at least 40 shots.

“Frustrating would be a good word but it's even worse than that right now,” Smith said. “At some point, you'd like to see your team move forward and take steps in the right direction to start having your chance to win hockey games.

“It seems like once we take one step forward we're taking a couple back. It's tough to play like that in this league and expect to come out and win hockey games.”

After his heavy workload on Saturday night, and with a third game in four nights looming on Tuesday in Chicago, Smith will get a one-night breather before returning to the lineup.

Coyotes captain Shane Doan said Smith has done more than his part to shoulder the load; now it's up to the others.

“The last two weeks he's been in a zone,” Doan said. “That's the only reason we're even remotely close to getting points or getting any kind of team success.”

Doan, who scored in Saturday's loss, is on the cusp of a milestone, needing one goal to become the 93rd player in NHL history to score 400. Doan has scored a goal in two of his last three visits to Ohio, giving him nine in 26 career games there.

The Coyotes made several roster moves after Saturday night's loss — assigning defenseman Anthony DeAngelo and center Laurent Dauphin to the Tucson Roadrunners of the American Hockey League and calling up forward Brendan Perlini, who will be making his NHL debut.

DeAngelo, 21, has played in 11 games and scored seven points (two goals, five assists). Dauphin, 21, has centered the team's fourth line and has one goal and one assist in 18 games.

Perlini, 20, was the Coyotes' first-round draft pick in 2014. A 6-foot-2, 212-pound forward, he is tied for the AHL lead with 11 goals in 16 games. He also has five assists.

Nine of the Coyotes' last 10 games have been decided by one goal, and they've been on the losing end six times. Coach Dave Tippett said Saturday's effort against Columbus typified the team's recent struggles.

“Right now there's not enough guys competing hard enough to get things stopped defensively,” he said. “We're just not doing enough with the puck to allow us to sustain anything. When you do that, when you play the whole game in your end, you're going to get lots of shots. Between that and losing faceoffs, you get lots of shots against.”

While the Coyotes are struggling to get over the hump, Columbus (14-5-4) has been one of the season's most pleasant surprises.

Columbus' five regulation losses are the fewest in the league, and it is averaging 3.13 goals per game — trailing only the New York Rangers.

The Blue Jackets have won their last three meetings with the Coyotes and six of the last seven on their home ice.

Curtis McElhinney was the winning goalie on Saturday night, but the Blue Jackets will likely turn to Sergei Bobrovsky on Monday. With 13 wins already, Bobrovsky needs only two more to match his total from 37 games during an injury-plagued 2015-16 season.

Bobrovsky is 11-2-1 with a 1.96 goals-against average, a .930 save percentage and two shutouts in his last 14 games.