With nothing but pride, and probably contracts for a few players, on the line the Phoenix Coyotes will be on the road against the Anaheim Ducks for the final game of the shortened 2013 season. Things have changed from last season when the Ducks were at the bottom of the Pacific and the Coyotes were getting ready to win their first ever division title. The Coyotes played the Ducks 3 games in a row in March and were 2-1-0 during that stretch winning the first 2 games in shoot outs and getting shut out in the third.
The Ducks are looking to finish the season strong, they have won their past 3 games by at least 2 goals, and they are 5-4-1 in the last 10. They are 16-6-1 at home this season and they beat the Coyotes at home in their last meeting.
Five For Winning:
1. Play physical. The Ducks have already clinched the division and the second place in the Western Conference spot so they probably aren't going to want to risk playing too hard.
2. Discipline. The Coyotes need to stay out of the box and stop giving the other team the man advantage.
3. Penalty kill. For whatever reason the Coyotes penalty kill has been lacking this season, something that wasn't a problem last season. Hopefully in the last game of the season they can figure out what was wrong and fix it.
4. Protect the leads. The Coyotes started off yesterday with a 2 goal lead however they let the Avalanche come back. If the Coyotes get up again they need to make sure the other team doesn't have the opportunity to come back.
5. Play for pride. There really isn't a reason for the Coyotes to come out strong for this game except for pride. They want to know they gave their best, especially against a division rival.
Likely Starting Goaltenders:
Mike Smith is an unrestricted free agent after this season, so he is probably going to be looking to increase his value and end the season on a high note, especially after allowing 4 goals against Colorado.
Viktor Fasth was a brilliant pick up by the Ducks this year, he is 15-5-2 and has played in 24 games this season. He also won his last start against the Edmonton Oilers giving him his fourth shut out of the season.
Players to Watch:
Antoine Vermette had a bit of a slow season but last night he light the lamp twice including once on the power play.
Ryan Getzlaf leads the Ducks in points, goals and assists this year and he scored the game winning goal in his last game against the Edmonton Oilers. He didn't play in the Ducks game against the Canucks, but if he plays tonight he is definitely a player to watch.
Coyotes: Derek Morris
Remember to check back later today for our final game day thread of the season and puck drop for the game will be at 7 pm.