Phoenix Coyotes @ Anaheim Ducks preview: back to back

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The Coyotes play their second game of a back to back against California teams as they head to Anaheim to play against the extremely hot Anaheim Ducks.

By the Numbers

Anaheim Ducks

Phoenix Coyotes

Points

59 (2nd in West)

46 (8th in West)

Goals Per Game

3rd (3.20)

6th (2.97)

Goals Against Per Game

8th (2.41)

25th (2.97)

Power Play Percentage

25th (15.0)

9th (20.3)

Penalty Kill Percentage

21st (80.8)

25th (78.5)

Phoenix Coyotes

Coming off a road trip with a less than ideal record, the Phoenix Coyotes played at home last night against the San Jose Sharks. The final result was 4-3 Sharks after a shootout. While the Coyotes played a good game against a tough team, there are still areas that they will need to address moving forward, especially against one of the better teams in the NHL.

Offensively, the team looked better than some of their previous games, which saw them score only one goal in four of their past five games, and the team wasn't terrible defensively, but they still need to find a way to keep up the pressure after a lead and play a full 60 minutes of hockey.Last night in the third period, the team seemed to lack energy, getting outshot for much of the period and overall outworked, until a power play goal from Radim Vrbata 13 minutes in tied the game and reignited the team.

Anaheim Ducks

The Ducks are extremely hot right now and currently have a nine-game winning streak which saw them defeat some of the better teams in the NHL, like the Chicago Blackhawks and St. Louis Blues. During that stretch, they have averaged 3.78 goals for and two goals against while managing to score five goals four times against three different teams. To say they are the hottest team in the NHL, and one of the best, would definitely not be an understatement.

The Ducks have also played very well against the Coyotes this year, which may be a cause for concern. These teams have met three times already and the Ducks have defeated the Coyotes all three while outscoring them 12-6. The closest the Coyotes came to a win came in the first game these two teams played where the Yotes took the Ducks to a shootout on October 18th.

Keys to the Game

Keep the lead. The Coyotes have scored the first goal in five of the past six games; however they have a record of 1-2-3 during that stretch. It's definitely a good thing for the Coyotes that they can take the lead with an early goal, however they need to capitalize and keep up the pressure, and not allow the other teams to tie up the game and get momentum. Once they have the lead they need to find a way to keep it.

Discipline. The Yotes are going to need a much more disciplined game then they have been playing in the past tonight against the Ducks. The Coyotes took three minor penalties against the Sharks, with two being taken by Derek Morris, and one of those penalties ultimately led to the Sharks being able to tie the game on their power play.

Special teams. Yesterday, the Coyotes power play had success going one for two which is great, however their penalty kill also allowed a goal. Both goals definitely had an impact on the game as they were both tying goals. The Coyotes are going to want to continue getting some offense from the power play while tightening up the penalty kill.

Players to Watch


Mike Ribeiro

#63 / Center / Phoenix Coyotes

6-0

177

Feb 10, 1980



G A P +/- PIM
2013 - Mike Ribeiro 9 19 28 -2 20

Mike Ribeiro had a pair of assists last night against the Sharks, snapping a five-game pointless streak. The Coyotes are going to need to him to step up and contribute on offense.


Ryan Getzlaf

#15 / Center / Anaheim Ducks

6-4

221

May 10, 1985



G A P +/- PIM
2013 - Ryan Getzlaf 19 25 44 19 15

Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry are the Ducks best players. They are top-two in goals, assists and points with over 40, while Nick Bonino is 3rd in points with only 25. Both have played well in the past two games with Getzlaf getting a hat trick against the Islanders.

Likely Starting Goaltenders


Thomas Greiss

#1 / Goalie / Phoenix Coyotes

6-1

215

Jan 29, 1986



GP MIN W L EGA GA GAA SA SV SV% SO
2013 - Thomas Greiss 8 382 4 2 14 2.20 188 174 .926 0

Mike Smith played last night and he let up some soft goals so it may be best for Thomas Greiss to get the start. Greiss has been solid in the five games started; he has a 4-2-0 record and a .926 save percentage and 2.20 goals against average. He will need to be at the top of his game against one of the top teams in the NHL.


Frederik Andersen

#31 / Goalie / Anaheim Ducks

6-3

250

Oct 02, 1989



GP MIN W L EGA GA GAA SA SV SV% SO
2013 - Frederik Andersen 10 578 9 1 18 1.87 263 245 .932 0

The Anaheim Ducks have three great goaltenders so it is difficult to predict who will be in net for them tonight. With Viktor Fasth hurt and the Ducks playing in their first of a back to back with the second game against the Sharks it seems like this would be the perfect situation for Frederik Andersen who has been amazing in his first year in the NHL.

Injury Report

Shane Doan and Zbynek Michalek are still both out with Rocky Mountain Fever and a lower body injury respectively. Rostislav Klesla missed practice and yesterday's game with illness and is on IR.

Viktor Fasth, Luca Sbisa, and Sheldon Souray are all listed on the Ducks injured reserve.

Puck Drop

The game starts at 6 p.m. Arizona time and will be on KTVK, much to the chagrin of viewers outside of the valley, and on the radio on KMVP 860 AM.

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