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Anaheim Ducks vs Phoenix Coyotes preview: bounce back

The Phoenix Coyotes are hoping to avoid being swept by the No. 1 team in the NHL, the Anaheim Ducks, come to town for the final time this regular season.

Jeff Gross

The Phoenix Coyotes go into this game looking to bounce back after a loss to the Minnesota Wild on Thursday. Although the Coyotes did a lot of things right in that game, the Wild were able to capitalize on the mistakes that the Yotes made and ultimately came out ahead. Phoenix is going to have to put that behind them as they are looking for a win against a team they have yet to be beat this season, the Anaheim Ducks.

Matchup at a Glance

Anaheim Ducks

Phoenix Coyotes


71 (1st in Pacific)

51 (5th in Pacific)

Goals Per Game

3.33 (3rd)

2.93 (6th)

Goals Against Per Game

2.44 (10th)

2.95 (23rd)

Power Play Percentage

16.4 (22nd)

19.0 (14th)

Penalty Kill Percentage

80.8 (15th)

78.2 (26th)

Anaheim Ducks

Right now, the Anaheim Ducks may be the best team in the NHL. They are currently on a five-game winning streak and have a record of 9-1-0 in the past 10 games, which saw them outscore their opponents 39 to 25. They have 71 points on the season, best in the NHL.

The Ducks have been winning because they have been getting great offense this season. Corey Perry and Ryan Getzlaf have been great together and are tearing up the NHL with a combined 47-52-99. Although they have some other offensive threats like Nick Bonino and Andrew Cogliano, shutting down Perry and Getzlaf is key to stopping the Ducks from scoring.

Surprisingly enough, the Ducks aren't one of the top 10 possession teams. They are 14th in Corsi for percentage with 50.5% and they are the top team in regards of PDO with 103.4, which means they may be due to regress a little.

Phoenix Coyotes

Before Thursday's game, the Coyotes looked to be trending in the right direction with a win against the Calgary Flames, but some untimely mistakes cost them against Minnesota. That loss moves them out of the playoffs for now, but with three games in hand over the Wild, the Coyotes can definitely bounce back.

The reunited Mikkel Boedker, Mike Ribeiro, Shane Doan line is heating up for the Coyotes, with Boedker himself having goals in four of the past five games, but the Lauri Korpikoski, Martin Hanzal, Radim Vrbata line is struggling a bit. The Coyotes are going to need to find a way to get their entire top-6 scoring in order to be an effective team.

One of the Coyotes biggest problems has been their lack of consistent offense. In the past five games they have scored 14 goals, however many of those goals game in one game (6-0 victory over Calgary). The fact that they can go from scoring six goals to only scoring one shows how inconsistent the offense can be.

Keys to the Game

Limit defensive mistakes. In the last game against the Wild two of the goals that the Coyotes allowed came about after a defensive lapse. The Coyotes need to limit these sort of mistakes especially against a top team like the Ducks.

Discipline. The Coyotes' penalty kill has been terrible this season, so the less we see of that the better.

Leave it all on the ice. It's a cliché but the Coyotes need to win this game for a lot of reasons like getting back into the playoff race and avoiding being swept, and to do that they are going to have to do everything in their power to win.

Players to Watch

Corey Perry

#10 / Right Wing / Anaheim Ducks



May 16, 1985

G A P +/- PIM
2013 - Corey Perry 25 22 47 20 42

Corey Perry is second in the NHL in goals this season and he has scored the game winning goal in two of the games against the Coyotes this season. The Yotes need to find some way to shut Perry down.

Mikkel Boedker

#89 / Left Wing / Phoenix Coyotes



Dec 16, 1989

G A P +/- PIM
2013 - Mikkel Boedker 14 16 30 2 12

Boedker has goals in the past three games and five points during that time. He's as hot as anyone on the Coyotes at the moment.

Likely Starting Goaltenders

Jonas Hiller

#1 / Goalie / Anaheim Ducks



Feb 12, 1982

2013 - Jonas Hiller 30 1799 21 4 72 2.40 822 750 .912 2

Jonas Hiller, in addition to having the stupidest goalie helmet in the NHL, has had a great record against the Coyotes this season. He has been in net for all four wins against the Coyotes and he has not allowed more than two goals against the Coyotes so far this season (.937 save percentage).

Thomas Greiss

#1 / Goalie / Phoenix Coyotes



Jan 29, 1986

2013 - Thomas Greiss 11 540 6 2 17 1.89 271 254 .937 1

Its been reported that Thomas Greiss will get the start tonight, Anaheim isn't Calgary so hopefully he will be able to bring the same level of play against an elite team.

Injury Report

Kyle Chipchura missed the last game with a lower body injury and though he has been skating lately Zbynek Michalek is still on the injured reserve with a lower body injury

Dustin Penner sat out their last game, no word on whether or not the injury was pancake related, and Viktor Fasth, Bryan Allen, Luca Sbisa, and Sheldon Souray are all out for the Ducks.

Puck Drop

Tonight's game starts at 6 p.m. at Arena and will be airing on Fox Sports Arizona Plus and KTAR 92.3 FM.