Louis Domingue will be back in goal tonight against the New Jersey Devils as the Arizona Coyotes as they try to halt a season-opening 10-game losing streak.
The Coyotes had held out hope that starting goaltender Antti Raanta would return from a two-week absence after he had an encouraging practice on Friday, but coach Rick Tocchet said Saturday morning that Domingue would get the start.
In Raanta's absence, Domingue (.858) and Adin Hill (.880) have both struggled. Raanta had a .911 save percentage in his three starts and is a career .917 goaltender.
"If I could make the choice, I would already be playing," Raanta told Craig Morgan of ArizonaSports.com on Thursday, "but I just need to listen to the guys who are a little bit smarter than me and who know something about the human body. I'm not sure what the timetable is right now but hopefully a couple more good practice days."
The Devils (7-2-0) had six days off before their 5-4 shootout win against the Ottawa Senators on Friday night, and they may have Cory Schneider back Saturday. He may have been ready to return Friday but missed the game due to the birth of his daughter earlier in the day, so he may be back to face the Coyotes.
Whether it's Schneider or Keith Kinkaid for a second night in a row, the Devils know they can't take anything for granted against the Coyotes.
"That's a team that's going to be coming out flying," Devils forward Jimmy Hayes said. "They're looking to get a win for themselves, but at the same time we're a team that prides itself on hard work, so we can't have any letdowns. If we continue to play the right way, we'll get the results we want."
The game will feature three of the top rookies in the league in Arizona's Clayton Keller, New Jersey center Nico Hischier, who was the No. 1 pick in this year's draft, and Devils defenseman Will Butcher. Keller leads all rookies with seven goals and 11 points. Hischier has two goals and five assists, and Butcher has 10 assists already.
The Devils are hoping the same thing that benefitted them Friday will be there Saturday -- contributions from everyone in the lineup. Three of their four goals were finished by three different forward groups and a fourth goal was scored by defenseman Damon Severson.
"We're finding a lot of depth," said the Devils' Taylor Hall, who had an assist Friday. "That's a huge thing for any good team, they find ways to get contributions from different lines on a nightly basis, it's going to help out in the big picture."