Coyotes Seek Big Road Win In Chicago

GLENDALE AZ - FEBRUARY 12: Patrick Kane #88 of the Chicago Blackhawks looks up as he shoots the puck under pressure from Shane Doan #19 of the Phoenix Coyotes during the NHL game at Jobing.com Arena on February 12 2011 in Glendale Arizona. The Coyotes defeated the Blackhawks 3-2 in an overtime shootout. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

The Coyotes will attempt to keep one thing that hasn't happened since February of 2009 from happening this season. That's losing 3 straight road games. After dropping ugly games to Tampa Bay and Columbus the Coyotes will have to have a strong game against the surging Chicago Blackhawks who have clawed they're way back into the group of teams on the edge of the playoffs. A couple weeks ago it seemed a foregone conclusion that they would be out but as with everything else in the Western Conference lately a few games in the win column brought them back. Patrick Sharp has been a big contributor and Corey Crawford has had some impressive games lately including shutting out Nashville on Thursday. Coyotes.com notes that over the past 5 games he's 5-1-1 with an impressive 1.82 GAA over those games. 

The Coyotes will have to get back to playing the defense that put them on their 8 game winning streak just a few weeks ago. That's been difficult with Ed Jovanovski out, but the Coyotes could see Adrian Aucoin return tonight as they sent defenseman Nolan Yonkman back to San Antonio yesterday. That would make room for Aucoin to play again and he did skate the other day, but it could have also been because of some critical errors Yonkman made in the Columbus game. Ray Whitney is also reportedly close to coming back as he had a good skate along with Aucoin, but no official word on either guy. One player we know is returning is Scottie Upshall. as his two game suspension for the hit on Oskars Bartulis is up. I'm not sure he sovles all the Coyotes issues, but the two games he's been out the Coyotes eat it. Coincidence? Probably, but hey if the Coyotes come away with the W tonight he's never allowed to not play again. Ilya Bryzgalov is expected to get the start again tonight.

Starting Goalies


GP MIN W L EGA GA GAA SA SV SV% SO
2010 - Ilya Bryzgalov 50 2957 27 15 128 2.60 1551 1423 .917 5


GP MIN W L EGA GA GAA SA SV SV% SO
2010 - Corey Crawford 36 2133 21 12 75 2.11 980 905 .923 3

Key Players


Mikkel Boedker

#89 / Left Wing / Phoenix Coyotes

5-11

195

Dec 16, 1989


Boeds was one of the few guys that actually had his head in the game against the Blue Jackets on Friday. He setup two of the three goals and has been earning his ice time lately. The only way he doesn't play is if Ray Whitney is ready to go, and even then he should be in based on his play of late.


Patrick Sharp

#10 / Right Wing / Chicago Blackhawks

6-1

199

Dec 27, 1981


With 7 points in the past 4 games he's helped power the Blackhawks to within striking distance of the playoffs again.

Injuries


Phoenix Coyotes Injuries

Questionable

Player Injury Type Injury Date
Ray Whitney other-excused 02/26/2011

Out (IR / Out / Suspended / Physically unvailable)

Player Injury Type Injury Date
Ed Jovanovski other-excused 02/18/2011
Adrian Aucoin other-excused 02/15/2011


Chicago Blackhawks Injuries

Questionable

Player Injury Type Injury Date
Fernando Pisani concussion 02/25/2011
Niklas Hjalmarsson other-excused 02/25/2011

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