After going up 2-0, the Coyotes allowed their last opponent, the Ottawa Senators, to win the game in overtime. They did manage to walk out of that game with a point though, which if you look at their first period was a blessing considering how out shot they were. While there were definite downsides to the previous game the Coyotes have had 2 full days of to rest and make adjustments.
The Coyotes recently faced the Ducks during preseason and lost 6-2, although they did not have the full lineup and Anaheim skated most of its opening night roster.
The Ducks have won the past 5 games and are tied for second in the Pacific Division with the Vancouver Canucks and the Los Angeles Kings. Since losing their first game against the Colorado Avalanche they have outscored their opponents 20-8, including a 6-0 smackdown against the New York Rangers.
Along with Corey Perry the Ducks are being led in scoring by right wing Jakob Silfverberg who the Ducks acquired along with Stefan Noesen and a first round pick from the Senators in exchange for Bobby Ryan. Silfverberg is only in his sophomore season and is already making an impact with points in every game but one.
|Phoenix Coyotes||Team Ranking||Anaheim Ducks|
|15th (20)||Goals For||12th (21)|
|20th (21)||Goals Against||5th (14)|
|13th (20.8%)||Power Play %||30th (4.4%)|
|21st (78.1%)||Penalty Kill %||26th (72.2%)|
Keys to the Game
Solid Goaltending. As of late Mike Smith hasn't been playing up to his full potential and he will need to be a wall if the Coyotes want to win this one. Smith has made some great saves so far, but his numbers aren't where they should be thanks to a few bad games.
Score First. The Coyotes have yet to be defeated in regulation when they score the first goal this season. Scoring the first goal allows them to control the game and it makes the other team chase the game, which only benefits the Coyotes.
Win Faceoffs. The Coyotes have to be pretty good at this; they have won 54.3% of their faceoffs this season, good enough to be tied for 5th in the league. Of course the team that they are tied with is the Anaheim Ducks, so faceoff wins will be critical.
#36 / Center / Phoenix Coyotes
Aug 12, 1986
|2013 - Rob Klinkhammer||3||1||4||4||2|
Rob Klinkhammer has been good for the Coyotes, starting off the scoring against the Senators and netting two gaols against the Hurricanes in the previous game. His 3 goals is good enough to put him at second on the Coyotes behind Radim Vrbata.
|2013 - Jakob Silfverberg||4||2||6||4||4|
The above mentioned Jakob Silfverberg is probably the player to watch. He is currently on pace for a point a game season with 4 goals and 2 assists, and if he keeps up his offense people will start to wonder if Ottawa parted ways with him too quickly.
Likely Starting Goaltenders
#41 / Goalie / Phoenix Coyotes
Mar 22, 1982
|2013 - Mike Smith||6||341||3||2||18||3.17||190||172||.905||0|
Mike Smith has been good, not great, to start off this season, and there have been a few goals that he wishes he had back. Facing the first game of a back to back though he is going to have to play better, especially against an Anaheim team that hasn't had many problems finding the back of the net as of late.
#1 / Goalie / Anaheim Ducks
Feb 12, 1982
|2013 - Jonas Hiller||3||184||3||0||4||1.30||98||94||.959||1|
The Ducks have been playing their goaltenders evenly and since both have winning records its tough to pick between Jonas Hiller and Viktor Fasth. Anaheim seems to be doing an every-other-game thing with their goaltenders though and since he didn't play in the last game and has the better numbers I'm going to have to go with Jonas Hiller getting the call tonight.
Derek Morris sat out the last game against the Senators but is expected to return to the lineup tonight. Rostislav Klesla also missed time during the Senators game after taking an elbow to the head from Bobby Ryan, but is expected to play tonight.
The Ducks are going to be without Luca Sbisa, Sheldon Souray and Matt Beleskey who are all listed as on injured reserve.
Tonight's game will start at 7 PM and will be featured on Fox Sports Arizona. You can listen to the game at 620 AM KTAR.