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Vrbata, Coyotes host Canucks in the desert

Phoenix Coyotes forward Radim Vrbata has made a habit of scoring goals in bunches.

He'll take his shots tonight against the Vancouver Canucks and Cory Schneider, who makes a fourth straight start for the first time in his career in this meeting at Jobing.com Arena.

Vrbata scored just once over his first nine games, but has netted 10 over his last 11. He has four multi-goal games in that span, including a pair in Wednesday's 4-2 victory over Anaheim. Vrbata has five goals in his last three contests.

Keith Yandle and Oliver Ekman-Larsson both had a goal and an assist for Phoenix, which won the opener of a three-game homestand and has prevailed in five of its last seven overall. Mike Smith ended with 19 saves.

"I thought we played a very solid game," said Phoenix head coach Dave Tippett. "A couple of breakdowns; we gave up a couple breakaways, which [Smith] came up big on. Other than that, I thought we were pretty solid throughout the game."

Phoenix is expected to have center Daymond Langkow in the lineup for the first time since Nov. 5 as he has missed the last seven games following a leave of absence from the team due to a death in the family.

The Canucks, meanwhile, turn to Schneider again tonight with Roberto Luongo battling an upper-body injury.

Luongo did serve as the backup on Wednesday in Colorado and watched Schneider make 24 saves in a 3-0 win for his first shutout of the season and second of his career.

Vancouver got a goal in each period from Manny Malhotra, Alexandre Burrows and Ryan Kesler, who was playing in his 500th career game. Vancouver has won two in a row and five of seven.

"This is one of our best efforts all year," Schneider said after his career- high third straight start. "Our [defense] blocked a lot of shots in front of the net and our [penalty kill] tonight was great."

The win was the 247th for Alain Vigneault as the Canucks' head coach, surpassing Marc Crawford for a new franchise record.

The Canucks moved to .500 on the road at 6-6-0 after winning the first of a three-game swing. However, they could be without both Kevin Bieksa (hip flexor) and Aaron Rome (hand) for this game after the two defenders suffered injuries versus the Avalanche.

The Coyotes went 2-1-1 versus the Canucks last year, but lost both meetings at home.

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