Justin Faulk
Hurricanes-Coyotes Preview
Justin Faulk

Hurricanes-Coyotes Preview

Published Dec. 12, 2015 2:25 a.m. ET

All the banged-up Arizona Coyotes needed in order to go from a long skid to a lengthy winning streak was return home.

After snapping a six-game losing streak, the Coyotes look to push their run at home to the same number Saturday night in another meeting with the Carolina Hurricanes.

Arizona (14-14-1) has been much better at home than on the road lately. The Coyotes have dropped six straight as the visitor, including Sunday's 5-4 defeat at Carolina, but have won five in a row at Gila River Arena.

They last won six straight there during an eight-game run from Oct. 19-Nov. 16, 2013.


Arizona opened a six-game stay with Friday's 2-1 overtime win over Minnesota, rallying behind Mikkel Boedker's two goals, including the power-play winner, while playing without captain Shane Doan, center Martin Hanzal and goalie Mike Smith due to lower-body injuries.

"We hung around the game, (Anders) Lindback made some big saves, we got fortunate on some crossbars and posts, and capitalized on the penalty at the end," coach Dave Tippett said. "We'll take the points and move on."

It's unclear if that'll be with Doan, Hanzal and Smith, whose expected return dates are unclear. Smith's potential absence could mean Lindback gets the nod on consecutive days for the first time this season after making 27 saves Friday.

He's 2-4-0 with a 3.57 goals-against average in six games - five of them starts - against the Hurricanes (11-14-4). He only made 13 saves at Carolina on Sunday.

The Coyotes' only other option would be Louis Domingue, who went 1-2-1 with a 2.73 GAA in seven games, including four starts, as a rookie last season.

Boedker leads the team with 11 goals and has collected five over the last two games at home after scoring nine in the previous nine. He has two points in seven career matchups with the Hurricanes.

The Coyotes have lost four straight overall and at home to Carolina, which has won three of its last four after dropping 11 of 14 (3-7-4).

Jeff Skinner is tied with Justin Faulk for the team lead with 11 goals, but the left wing has scored six in the past four games. However, he didn't get a point against Arizona. Skinner netted his third career hat trick in Friday's 5-1 win at Anaheim that gave Carolina a split of the first two on a four-game trip.

"Part of my job is to produce offensively," Skinner said. "It's been up and down for me this year, but the last few games we've been doing a good job of creating offense and finishing off. Sometimes it's a product of confidence."

Faulk added two assists against the Ducks, giving him a team-leading 23 points. He had a goal versus the Coyotes on Sunday, and his 11 on the season lead all defensemen and are four shy of his career high set in 2014-15.

Cam Ward may be back in net after being rested in favor of Eddie Lack, who had 31 stops Friday. Ward is 2-2-0 with a 4.28 GAA over his last five starts and was pulled after the opening period Tuesday for allowing four goals on eight shots in a 6-5 loss at Dallas.

He has a 1.92 GAA while winning three straight visits to Arizona.


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