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Phoenix Coyotes vs Ottawa Senators preview: need a win

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The Coyotes head to Canada's capital in search of their first win of the road trip.

Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

The Coyotes head to Canada's capital in search of their first win of the road trip. The Coyotes have played solid hockey as of late but have been unable to take home a win. With two games remaining on the road trip before Christmas, the Coyotes look to get back on track and regain a spot in the top-8 of the Western Conference.

Teams at a Glance

Phoenix Coyotes Ottawa Senators
Points 42 (5th Pacific) 34 (6th Atlantic)
Goals Per Game 2.93 (6th) 2.71 (10th)
Goals Against Per Game 2.93 (25th) 3.11 (18th)
Power Play Percentage 20.0% (8th) 19.3% (10th)
Penalty Kill Percentage 77.9 (26th) 78.7% (24th)

Phoenix Coyotes

Phoenix has lost three in a row but has played closer to Coyotes hockey than they have at any point this season.

The injury bug has plagued the Coyotes as Zbynek Michalek and Shane Doan remain out for the foreseeable future. With two games remaining before the Christmas break, the Coyotes hope to win out and have an enjoyable Christmas before they start their trek to the Olympic break.

Ottawa Senators

The Sens have lost three of their last four games including back-to-back multi-goal losses to New Jersey and Florida. Ottawa looks to even their record in game two of their three-game home stand before Christmas.

While under performing, Ottawa is a high-skill team with players like Jason Spezza, Kyle Turris and Erik Karlsson. The Sens have a solid power play and have found ways to score goals, even with a porous defense.

For more on the Ottawa Senators, check out Silver Seven.

Keys to the Game

  • Keep the pressure on - The Coyotes have controlled possession as of late and need to continue that trend in hopes to bring home two points.
  • Discipline - The PK has been better of late, but the Yotes need all the offensive zone time the can get.
  • Score 2nd goal - Phoenix has been held to one goal in each of the last three games, they need to put the puck in the net more than once.

Players to Watch

Martin Hanzal

#11 / Center / Phoenix Coyotes



Feb 20, 1987

G A P +/- PIM
2013 - Martin Hanzal 9 14 23 -2 39

He scored the only goal in Phoenix's last game. The Coyotes need his line to play at a high level.

Erik Karlsson

#65 / Defenseman / Ottawa Senators



May 31, 1990

G A P +/- PIM
2013 - Erik Karlsson 9 25 34 -9 18

The Ottawa offense runs through Karlsson who has five points (1-4-5) this week. He is a Norris Trophy winner for a reason.

Projected Starting Goaltenders

Mike Smith

#41 / Goalie / Phoenix Coyotes



Mar 22, 1982

2013 - Mike Smith 32 1696 14 8 6 81 2.87 928 847 .913 0

Smith has played well lately and will likely get the start in this one too.

Robin Lehner

#40 / Goalie / Ottawa Senators



Jul 24, 1991

2013 - Robin Lehner 18 992 5 8 3 42 2.54 564 522 .926 0

The goalies have been alternating as of late. With Craig Anderson starting the last game, Lehner may get the start tonight.

Injury Report

The Coyotes will be without Doan and Michalek, while Ottawa will be without Mika Zibanejad. Lauri Korpikoski may play for the Coyotes after missing several games with an upper-body injury.

Puck Drop

Puck drop is scheduled for noon Arizona time, and can be seen on FOX Sports Arizona.