CALGARY, Alberta — The Coyotes will meet up with a couple of former teammates for the first time tonight when they battle the Calgary Flames at the Scotiabank Saddledome.
Mike Smith, starting goaltender in Arizona for six seasons, is expected to start in goal for the Flames (13-10-1). Smith is 11-8-1 with a 2.67 goals-against average and a .921 save percentage.
The Flames lineup also includes defenseman Michael Stone, who also played six seasons in Arizona. Stone scored Calgary’s lone goal in a 4-1 loss to Toronto on Tuesday at the Saddledome, and he’s glad the Flames don’t have to wait too long to put the disappointing loss to the Leafs behind them.
“That’s huge when you can learn from the games that you don’t play well in and you can get right back in the saddle and build on your game,” Stone said. “That’s what it’s all about.”
Old friend Mike Smith is in net for the other guys tonight. That’s plenty of ammunition for a trip down memory lane with @TysonNash and @BizNasty2point0. @ArizonaCoyotes vs. #Flames, 6:30 p.m. pic.twitter.com/Q9GuSJrVam
— FOX Sports Arizona (@FOXSPORTSAZ) November 30, 2017
Scott Wedgewood will make his fourth consecutive start in net for the Coyotes (6-17-4) in place of the injured Antti Raanta, who was brought in to replace Smith as Arizona’s top goaltender.
Wedgewood has compiled a 2-3-2 record to go with a 2.99 goals against-average and a .901 save percentage. He had 24 saves and a strong effort in Tuesday’s 3-2 overtime loss at Edmonton but gave up the game-winning goal to Ryan Nugent-Hopkins on a breakaway with 40 seconds left in overtime.
“I think the guys deserved that win,” Wedgewood said. “They played well in front of me and took away a high-powered offense — kept them to two goals and an overtime goal. We did great defensively. Overall, we walk out of here probably deserving that win if we play that way moving forward.”
As for when Raanta will return to the lineup, Coyotes coach Rick Tocchet gave the team website an update Wednesday.
“He’ll catch up with us back home,” said Tocchet, whose team will host the New Jersey Devils at the Gila River Arena on Saturday before playing a road game against the Vegas Golden Knights on Sunday. “We’ll probably know more about (his recovery) on Friday. Scott will play (Thursday) and then we’ll make a decision after that.”
Oliver Ekman-Larsson had one of Arizona’s two goals on Tuesday. He has goals in three consecutive games and four goals and three assists during a six-game point streak. With 18 points, he is three behind team leader Clayton Keller.
The Coyotes recalled Andrew Campbell from the AHL’s Tucson Roadrunners on Wednesday after defenseman Niklas Hjalmarsson left the Tuesday game in the second period because of an upper-body injury.
“He’s still going to be day-to-day, but the injury is a little bit worse than we thought,” Tocchet said of Hjalmarsson.
Calgary is dealing with lower-body injuries to right wingers Kris Versteeg and Jaromir Jagr. While Versteeg was placed on injured reserve Wednesday, Jagr practiced with the Flames and could be ready to play against the Coyotes.
The Flames recalled Garnet Hathaway from the AHL’s Stockton Heat on Wednesday, and coach Glen Gulutzan said the right winger, who has 43 games of experience over the past three seasons with the Flames, didn’t look out of place at practice.
“Even watching him today, he looks a lot more comfortable than he did last year coming up,” said Gulutzan of Hathaway, who recorded 11 goals and eight assists in 19 games with the Heat before being called up. “It’s a good bolt of energy for us.”
Johnny Gaudreau leads the Flames with 34 points and 23 assists, and Sean Monahan has a team-high 14 goals. Calgary has the 10th-best power play in the NHL at 21.4 percent, but its penalty kill ranks next to last at 74.4 percent.
Source: Fox Sports