Preview: Coyotes at Hurricanes, 5 p.m., FOX Sports Arizona Plus
RALEIGH, N.C. — With the uncertainty of the trade deadline behind, the Coyotes and Carolina Hurricanes can go about their business of trying to sort out their pieces for the future.
Neither is in the playoff race, and both teams were in the “seller” category leading up to the deadline.
The Hurricanes sent forward Viktor Stalberg to the Ottawa Senators for a draft pick. The Coyotes dealt forwards Martin Hanzal and Ryan White to Minnesota and defenseman Michael Stone to Calgary.
Carolina coach Bill Peters said he knows that there’s a period of time of uncertainty that can be un-nerving for players, so now that time has passed.
“They’re humans, so it has an impact on you,” Peters said. “So now I think we can kind of settle in.”
Arizona forward Max Domi said the Coyotes should be able to focus on improvement.
“We have to continue to grow here and try to find ways to get better,” Domi said. “It’s a good challenge. Individually, we have to challenge ourselves.”
The Coyotes are coming off a 6-3 loss at Buffalo on Thursday night. Newly acquired Teemu Pukkinen gave Arizona an early 1-0 lead, but the Sabres dominated play thereafter and pulled away with three goals — including two empty-netters — late in the third period.
— FOX Sports Arizona (@FOXSPORTSAZ) March 3, 2017
The Coyotes lost defenseman Kevin Connauton in the third period of that game after he sustained a crushing hit, so his availability is unclear. Coach Dave Tippett said it’s an upper-body injury, listing him day-to-day.
Left winger Anthony Duclair, who was recalled from Tucson on Wednesday, arrived in Buffalo late Thursday but didn’t play. He’s likely to be back in the lineup tonight.
After facing 39 shots on Thursday night in Buffalo, Mike Smith is expected to get the night off, with Louis Domingue in goal for the Coyotes.
Friday night’s game is the first of consecutive meetings between the teams, with the rematch Sunday at Arizona. The Coyotes have been outscored by a combined 10-4 in the first two stops on the road trip, also losing at Boston.
Carolina swept the Coyotes last season and is unbeaten in its last five home matchups with Arizona.