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Phoenix Coyotes at Colorado Avalanche - Game #62 Preview

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In the first game of the Coyotes' back to back games to close out the pre-olympic portion of the schedule, the boys visit the Colorado Avalanche, who have to be the second most surprising team in the West this year. Both of our teams were projected to finish at the bottom of the standings, but instead they're fighting for better playoff positions.

The Coyotes come into the game winners of their last two games and 8 of their last 9. Most recently the Coyotes finished up a season sweep of the Minnesota Wild with a 3-2 victory. Matthew Lombardi and Radim Vrbata both had big goals in the game and Ilya Bryzgalov was his usual dominant self. Bryz stopped 29 shots on 31 tries and made it look easy.

The Avs played the Thrashers on Wednesday, winning 4-3 in overtime. THe Thrashers seemed to have everything going their way, going up 3-1 early in the thrid period, but the Avalanche were able to come back with two late goals by Chris Stewart and Chris Durno. Then just 9 seconds into the overtime period, Kyle Cumiskey took the puck off the faceoff and split the defense to end the game quickly. The win is the Avs' third in a row and kept them just behind Los Angeles for the 5th Spot in the West.

Starting Goaltenders:


GP MIN W L EGA GA GAA SA SV SV% SO
2009 - Ilya Bryzgalov 52 3059 32 15 117 2.29 1475 1358 .921 6

Bryz gets the nod again, which likely means LaBarbera tomorrow against the Stars. With Olympic action coming up I hope the big guy can stay sharp and focused on beating the Avs tonight. It shouldn't be too much of an issue though and except for a stretch of a few games he's been sharp most of the year.


GP MIN W L EGA GA GAA SA SV SV% SO
2009 - Craig Anderson 51 3056 30 15 124 2.43 1622 1498 .924 6

We haven't seen Anderson in goal for a while as he always seemed to be sick or something when the Avs faced us. If there's been a goaltender that's done more to put his team in his back I don't know who it could be. Anderson has been outstanding all year backing up a pretty young team.

Key Players


Matthew Lombardi

#15 / Center / Phoenix Coyotes

6-0

198

Mar 18, 1982


Lombardi has been seeing the angles from everywhere since moving over to wing for the last two games. Shots that didn't seem to have much way of going in with the angles he's had just seem to be attracted to the bottom of the water bottle and seek their way in. With 3-3-6 over his last 2 games he's doing it all right now.


Paul Stastny

#26 / Center / Colorado Avalanche

6-0

205

Dec 27, 1985


He's the man to watch when he touches the puck. With 42 assists he leads the Avs in helpers. He had three in the game against the Thrashers, so keeping him hemmed in and from making that next pass is crucial.

The Infirmary


Phoenix Coyotes Injuries

Out (IR / Out / Suspended / Physically unvailable)

Player Injury Type Injury Date
Joel Perrault other-excused 02/08/2010
Kurt Sauer head 10/07/2009
Scottie Upshall knee 01/29/2010


Colorado Avalanche Injuries

Questionable

Player Injury Type Injury Date
Ruslan Salei back 02/12/2010

Out (IR / Out / Suspended / Physically unvailable)

Player Injury Type Injury Date
David Koci hand 02/09/2010
Milan Hejduk knee 01/11/2010
Matt Hendricks ankle 01/21/2010
David Jones knee 11/29/2009
Ryan Stoa shoulder 01/29/2010