Coyotes-Canucks Preview

Despite their issues on the road, the Arizona Coyotes are second in the Pacific thanks to their success within the division.

Their only regulation loss to a Pacific opponent, however, came to the Vancouver Canucks.

Seeking a third road win in almost eight weeks, the Coyotes look to avoid a fourth straight loss to the Canucks on Monday night.

After finishing at the bottom of the Western Conference last season, there were few expectations foisted on Arizona heading into 2015-16. So far, the Coyotes (18-16-4) are among the league's biggest surprises as they sit one point ahead of Vancouver (15-15-9) in the division race.

Arizona's position in the Pacific comes despite a 2-8-1 record on the road since a win at Los Angeles on Nov. 10. That's also part of the Coyotes' 7-1-2 record within the division.

They gained another point in such a matchup Saturday, opening a three-game trip through Western Canada with a 4-3 shootout loss to Edmonton.

Anthony Duclair is looking to improve upon his first goal in 10 road games after scoring six in his first 10. The 20-year-old left wing's 11 goals rank third on the team, but coach Dave Tippett is looking for more consistency.

"He's a good young player. He's got a great attitude," Tippett said. "He's worked very hard but there's a lot to learn.

"One of the biggest thing that young players have to learn is the fact that the expectations of consistency every night."

Max Domi assisted on Duclair's goal against the Oilers and his 28 points rank second among rookies.

Like Duclair, Domi is struggling for consistency as he's failed to score in 12 straight games.

He found the net at home against Vancouver on Oct. 30, but the Coyotes' comeback from a three-goal, first-period deficit fell short in a 4-3 defeat.

Arizona has lost three straight to the Canucks and is 1-2-2 in the last five visits to Vancouver.

The Canucks have won four of their last five at home after beating Anaheim 2-1 in a shootout on New Year's Day.

"We were playing a little bit more defensive," coach Willie Desjardins said. "I like playing offensive. I don't like sitting back as much as that. I'd rather get more aggressive, but we've gotten points out of games that we haven't in the past, so it's good."

Jacob Markstrom is coming through in a big way. He's 3-1-0 with a 1.93 goals-against average in four games since starter Ryan Miller went down with a groin injury.

Markstrom should be back in net after making 27 saves and turning aside all three shootout attempts Friday. He stopped 26 shots in a 3-1 win at Arizona on March 22 - his only meeting with the Coyotes.

Daniel Sedin has three goals and four assists in his last five games with Arizona, scoring a power-play tally Oct. 30. He has 15 points in 17 home games but none in the past two.

The Canucks will see a familiar face on the opposing bench as Brad Richardson plays his first game in Vancouver since signing with the Coyotes as a free agent over the summer.

Richardson, who spent the last two seasons with the Canucks, has 15 points after getting two Saturday.

"It's just another game," Richardson told the team's official website. "It's nice to play against former teams and hopefully play well, but I'm just looking at it as another game and playing my best."