Preview: Coyotes vs. Jets, 6:30 p.m., FOX Sports Arizona

January 13, 2017

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- The Coyotes went 22 games between wins before breaking through with a shootout victory over the New York Islanders last Saturday, but as fate would have it, they had to wait five more days before getting a chance at another.

They come off their league-mandated midseason break on Friday night to host the Winnipeg Jets. The game can be seen on FOX Sports Arizona and FOX Sports GO, starting at 6:30 p.m.

Hopefully they enjoyed the time off, because they get back after it with a vengeance -- playing five games over the next seven days. They returned to practice Thursday afternoon, and coach Dave Tippett said they appeared to be refreshed.

"It's good to see the guys in great spirits, but you want to make sure you give them the best opportunity to come back and get up and running as quick as we can, so it will be short shifts and it will be everybody involved (on Friday night)," he said. "Hopefully, we use that energy to allow us to play well."

Goalie Mike Smith, who learned during the break that he was selected for the first All-Star Game of his career, said it was a blessing that the team ended a nine-game losing streak prior to the time off.

" I think it would have been a lot tougher break if we were still on a slide, but we got a big win going into the break and we were able to kind of decompress a little bit," Smith said. "We'll come back fresh. There's a lot of games now in a short period of time … Hopefully we keep pushing forward."

 

The Coyotes won't be pushing forward just yet with their newest addition, former Winnipeg center Alex Burmistrov. They claimed him on waivers on Jan. 2, but due to visa issues, he wasn't expected to arrive in Arizona until Thursday night.

Tippett was hopeful that Burmistrov would skate with the team on Friday morning but wasn't sure how soon he'll be ready to play. The Coyotes have another home game on Saturday night, against Anaheim.

"He hasn't skated in over a week now," Tippett said. "We'll get him back and get him up and going."

The Coyotes sent Brendan Perlini and Laurent Dauphin down to Tucson during the break, but they were recalled on Thursday. Perlini had a hat trick in Tucson's victory over Manitoba on Tuesday.

https://twitter.com/RoadrunnersAHL/status/819216070816862209

https://twitter.com/RoadrunnersAHL/status/819052745801879556

Center Martin Hanzal, who missed Saturday's game with a lower-body injury, practiced on Thursday and is expected to be back in uniform vs. the Jets, but right wingers Jordan Martinook (upper body) and Ryan White (lower body) are expected to remain sidelined, although they did skate on Thursday.

Center Brad Richardson (broken right tibia and fibula) and left winger Max Domi (hand) remain out indefinitely.

Winnipeg arrives in Arizona after a 7-4 home loss to Montreal on Wednesday that earned the ire of their coach, Paul Maurice.

"We were horse(crap) right from the drop of the puck until the very end of it," said Maurice, who has not named a starter in goal against the Coyotes after yanking Connor Hellebuyck early in the loss to the Canadiens. Hellebuyck allowed three goals on seven shots, and backup Michael Hutchinson gave up four goals on 23 shots.

Hellebuyck is 16-13-1 with a 2.73 goals-against average, and Hutchinson is 4-8-2 with a 3.30 GAA.

While Radim Vrbata leads with Coyotes with 24 ponts, the Jets have four players with 30-plus, led by center Mark Scheifele (19 goals, 39 points). Scheifele played for Team North America at the World Cup of Hockey this summer while Tippett was on the coaching staff.

"You could tell then that he was a young player that was going to be a really good player, and this year is the first year that he's really stepped out," Tippett said. "His point totals and the leadership qualities he's bringing -- he's been a really good player for that team."

Scheifele, 23, was coming off a 61-point season when he signed an eight-year, $49 million deal this summer that some analysts termed a risk, but he is on pace for career highs in every offensive category.

"He's a smart player and a really dedicated player," Tippett said. "He's just a real pleasant, classy guy."

Nikolaj Ehlers has 38 points for the Jets, rookie Patrik Laine had 37 and former Coyote Blake Wheeler has 34.

Laine, who leads the team with 21 goals, is still dealing with a concussion and did not make the trip. Defenseman Tyler Myers took a leave from the team to attend to a family matter, but he is on injured reserve with a back injury. Left winger Mark Dano (lower body) is also on injured reserve and out six more weeks. Defenseman Ben Chiarot (illness) is day-to-day, but Maurice has not ruled him out of Friday's game.

This is the the second of three meetings between the two teams. The Jets won the first, 3-2, on Nov. 10 in Glendale and have 9 wins in their past 11 games with the Coyotes.



share story