Coyotes @ Rangers Preview: Looking For Points In The Big Apple

GLENDALE, AZ - DECEMBER 17: Goaltender Martin Biron #43 of the New York Rangers follows the play as Shane Doan #19 of the Phoenix Coyotes sets a screen during the NHL game at Jobing.com Arena on December 17, 2011 in Glendale, Arizona. The Rangers defeated the Coyotes 3-2. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

For the second and final time this season the Phoenix Coyotes will be facing off against the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden at 5:00 pm Arizona Time. The Rangers have won 9 of their last 10 games including their last 3 home games with a home record of 12-3-2. The Coyotes will be coming off a win against other New York team the Islanders on Saturday and they have an away record of 12-9-2. The Rangers are leading the league with 56 points, while the Coyotes are looking to get some points to move up the ranks in the Pacific Division. Its unknown who will remain on the IR for the Coyotes and who, if anyone, will be well enough to return for this game.

The Coyotes have been hit pretty hard by the injury bug this season but hopefully some of the players will be coming back soon, and possibly this game. Boyd Gordon was activated from the Injury Reserve list today and could be skating in this game, and its possible that Adrian Aucoin's eye will be well enough for him to play as well. Gordon has been out seven games with a lower body injury and it'll be good to see him return.

Key Players


Shane Doan

#19 / Left Wing / Phoenix Coyotes

6-1

228

Oct 10, 1976



G A P +/- PIM
2011 - Shane Doan 12 13 25 -9 20

Captain Coyote is fresh off a hat-trick against the Islanders, hopefully this is a sign that he will be scoring more goals in the second half of the season.


Brad Richards

#19 / Center / New York Rangers

6-0

196

May 02, 1980



G A P +/- PIM
2011 - Brad Richards 15 16 31 -1 12

Richards has scored 3 goals in the last 5 games including game winning goals in Philadelphia and Florida. He also has assists in two games.

Injuries


Phoenix Coyotes Injuries

Questionable

Player Injury Type Injury Date
Adrian Aucoin other-excused 01/10/2012

Doubtful

Player Injury Type Injury Date
David Schlemko other-excused 01/10/2012

Out (IR / Out / Suspended / Physically unvailable)

Player Injury Type Injury Date


Martin Hanzal other-excused 12/26/2011


New York Rangers Injuries

Out (IR / Out / Suspended / Physically unvailable)

Player Injury Type Injury Date
Michael Sauer concussion 12/06/2011
Steve Eminger shoulder 12/18/2011


Five For Winning

1. Score first. Good things happen when the Coyotes score early, ask Shane Doan who scored 1:41 into the first period in the game against the Islanders.

2. Penalty kill. The first goal of the last game was on a Rangers power play, and the Coyotes have had at least one penalty in the last five games. The PK has been good though allowing only one power play goal in the last five games.

3. Win face-offs. Against the Islanders the Yotes won almost 60% of the face-offs and they controlled most of the game. In the game against the Kings they won over 60% of the face-offs and helped them control the game. If they want to control the game it is important that they win the face-offs and keep possession of the puck from then on.

4. Play until the end. The Coyotes have been good as of late in not allowing goals in the last minute of play, and this needs to continue, especially against this team after their last meeting.

5. Goaltending. I'm not sure yet if Mike Smith or Jason LaBarbera will be between the pipes but whoever is in goal needs to be on top of their game. The Rangers have scored more than 34 goals than they have let in this season and they have Marian Gaborik who is third in the league for goals. Against this team the goalie is going to need to be a wall.

Hopefully Doaners hat-trick is the turning point that this team needs to start winning again and getting points. And after the last meeting between these two teams you know that they Coyotes are looking to redeem themselves this game.

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