Atlanta Thrashers @ Phoenix Coyotes - Game 59 Preview

Somehow the Phoenix Coyotes, though inactive for the past few days, managed to stay on top of the Pacific division while everyone caught up in terms of games played. The Sharks, Ducks and Stars all had losses that kept them just behind the Coyotes in the standing and now everyone but the Kings has played 58 games. At least we're not worrying too much about games in hand I suppose. 

The Coyotes will be looking for their sixth straight win and to keep ahead of all the teams behind them. Goalie Ilya Bryzgalov will make his 17th consecutive start which is fine since he's really turned it on after a meh start to the season. The Coyotes have found their defensive stride that they had last year, but have also discovered that scoring goals is fun too as they now lead the division in goals scored for the season with 165. No one guy is carrying the load, but everyone is chipping in and it's been pretty great.

The Thrashers come in as a team in a freefall down the standings. After a decent start to the year and looking like they would make the playoffs for just the second time in team history, they've really hit a wall. They've had plenty of time to let it sink in too as they've been off since Sunday. Over the last ten games they've gone a paltry 2-5-3 and have slid to 10th in the Conference. Goalie Ondrej Pavelec has a 1-4-1 record over his last six games, though it's been a team effort to lose those games. the defense hasn't been great and the offense is coming up just short each time. 

Starting Goalies


GP MIN W L EGA GA GAA SA SV SV% SO
2010 - Ilya Bryzgalov 46 2716 24 14 116 2.56 1410 1294 .918 5


GP MIN W L EGA GA GAA SA SV SV% SO
2010 - Ondrej Pavelec 44 2502 18 16 108 2.59 1364 1256 .921 3

Key Players


Ray Whitney

#13 / Left Wing / Phoenix Coyotes

5-10

180

May 08, 1972


He's really been great lately creative with the puck and adding in the goal here and there. He has at least 1 point in each of his last 4 games and has 7 total points in those games (1-6-7)


Dustin Byfuglien

#33 / Defenseman / Atlanta Thrashers

6-5

265

Mar 27, 1985


While in the beginning of the season he was huge for the Thrashers, since the beginning of 2011 he has only 3 points for Atlanta. Two goals and one helper. The Thrashers still signed him to a 5 year deal earlier this week. 

Injuries


Phoenix Coyotes Injuries

Questionable

Player Injury Type Injury Date
Kyle Turris other-excused 02/17/2011

Out (IR / Out / Suspended / Physically unvailable)

Player Injury Type Injury Date
David Schlemko head 01/18/2011


Atlanta Thrashers Injuries

Out (IR / Out / Suspended / Physically unvailable)

Player Injury Type Injury Date
Freddy Meyer head 02/04/2011
Fredrik Modin other-excused 02/11/2011
Jim Slater concussion 01/01/2011
Alexander Burmistrov foot 02/12/2011

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