Anaheim Ducks @ Phoenix Coyotes Preview- Desert Ducks

Jeff Gross

After two shows in Anaheim, the Ducks finally come to the desert to face off against the Phoenix Coyotes.

Tonight's game will be the third meeting for the Ducks and the Phoenix Coyotes and the first not to take place at Honda Center in Anaheim. The last two games against the division rival have been less than stellar for the Coyotes, an overtime loss and a regulation loss giving up three points to the Ducks in the standings. Now, on home ice, can the Desert Dogs do what they haven't done yet this season, defeat Anaheim? And can they do it in regulation?

Anaheim Ducks

The Ducks have done amazingly well so far this season. That is until they became plagued by injuries. Last night saw an end to Anaheim's five game winless streak (though two were overtime losses)m but even then it was a tight game until Ryan Getzlaf put the puck behind Ben Bishop with only 5.2 seconds left on the clock. With injury having taken out key players like Saku Koivu and Jakob Silfverberg, the Coyotes are up for a fight against a different team from what they faced earlier this month.

However, different doesn't mean easier. Jonas Hiller is coming off of a shutout. Ryan Getzlaf has a solid point streak and Anaheim has been doling out as many hits as they have been taking. But, in a back-to-back situation last night's nail biter might have hurt them more than helped. After all, nothing is worse than facing a hungry coyote when all you want to do is sleep.

Phoenix Coyotes

The last time the Coyotes came out of a tilt without at least one point was against Getzlaf et. al. on November 6. Since then they have been riding a five game point streak, interestingly enough the same length as the streak that the Ducks ended that night. Though Thursday was a tough night the Coyotes should be coming into this game well rested with a day off, compared to Anaheim's back-to-back situation. Add that the home ice and Anaheim's injuries and the Coyotes are at a distinct advantage in comparison to their two previous meetings.

For the Yotes this doesn't just need to be a win, but a regulation win. With four points already going to the Ducks a regulation would help hold them at bay and allow the Coyotes to take the number two spot in the division. A regulation loss would put them at a 6-1 advantage in points and an overtime loss at a 5-2 advantage out of a possible 10 points this season. If the Coyotes want to remain divisional contenders regulation wins will be necessary, especially against this A-list team.



Anaheim Ducks

Phoenix Coyotes

Points

35

32

Goals For per Game

3.00

3.27

Goals Against per Game

2.44

3.03

Power Play

12.8%

22.8%


Keys to the Game

  • Power Play- Games are won and lost in the power play, but against a team like Anaheim this is doubly true. The Ducks are third from the bottom on the penalty kill and ranked 26th on the power play. Compare that to the Coyotes' sixth on the power play. If the Desert Dogs want to win they need to draw penalties and keep up the PP pressure.
  • Keeping the Puck- The last two games have seen a bit of a turnaround for the Coyotes with an equal thirty shots on goal against Tampa and then outshooting the Avalanche 44 to 30. If the Yotes want to win they need to keep this stat in check and keep the puck on their tape.
  • Closing the Deal- This has been one of the most difficult things for the Coyotes this season. They've given up leads and taken it into overtime, sometimes winning and sometimes losing. But, they need to start closing the deal once the have the lead and not allowing extra minutes especially when it will lead to giving up a point to a division rival.

Who's Hot

Ryan Getzlaf

#15 / Center / Anaheim Ducks

6-4

221

May 10, 1985

GP G A P +/- PIM PPG SHG GWG GTG SOG PCT
2013 - Ryan Getzlaf 22 13 13 26 13 13 3 0 5 62

Getzlaf is riding a six game point streak which actually started against the Coyotes (he missed three games during that time due to injury).

Michael Stone

#26 / Defenseman / Phoenix Coyotes

6-3

210

Jun 07, 1990

GP G A P +/- PIM PPG SHG GWG GTG SOG PCT
2013 - Michael Stone 16 7 0 7 -3 4 2 0 1 29

The Coyotes' defense always finds ways to score and Michael Stone has been showing that strength. His goal from Thursday's game now has him tied for the lead in defenseman goals with Ottawa's Erik Karlsson. Four of those seven goals have come in the last three games, a hot streak if we've ever seen one.

Likely Starting Goaltenders

Jonas Hiller

#1 / Goalie / Anaheim Ducks

6-2

192

Feb 12, 1982

GP MIN W L EGA GA GAA SA SV SV% SO
2013 - Jonas Hiller 14 818 8 3 35 2.57 360 325 .903 2


Shutouts are always great ways to end the night and Hiller certainly hopes to make a repeat performance in Phoenix. If not for a shutout, at the very least for the win just like the last two times he's been between the posts for this division rivalry.

Mike Smith

#41 / Goalie / Phoenix Coyotes

6-4

215

Mar 22, 1982

GP MIN W L EGA GA GAA SA SV SV% SO
2013 - Mike Smith 20 1171 12 3 57 2.92 667 610 .915 0

Though he allowed four goals in the overtime loss against Colorado on Thursday he's still likely to get the starting gig tonight.

Injury Report

Viktor Fasth remains out with a lower-body injury alongside Francois Beauchemin, Saku Koivu, Jakob Silfverberg and Sheldon Souray. For the Coyotes, Zbynek Michalek and Lauri Korpikoski will be sitting out the game.

UPDATE:

Teemu Selanne will be out tonight for the Ducks.

Puck Drop

Game time is 6:00 PM at Jobing.com Arena. To watch just tune to Fox Sports Arizona and if you're in more a listening mood the game will be available on News/Talk 92.3FM KTAR.

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