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Arizona Coyotes @ Anaheim Ducks preview: back in SoCal

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Division rivals meet in the second preseason game of the season.

Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

After waiting for what seemed like an eternity for hockey to return, the wait for game number two is just 24 hours. The Arizona Coyotes travel to face the Anaheim Ducks to play the middle game of a back-to-back-to-back start to the preseason.

Matchup at a Glance

Arizona Coyotes Anaheim Ducks
Points 89 (4th Pacific) 116 (1st Pacific)
Goals Per Game 2.56 (20th) 3.21 (1st)
Goals Against Per Game 2.73 (18th) 2.48 (9th)
Power Play Percentage 19.9% (4th) 16.0% (22nd)
Penalty Kill Percentage 79.0% (26th) 82.2% (13th)
5v5 Fenwick For Percentage 50.0% (16th) 50.1% (15th)
PDO (SH% + SV%) 100.3 (10th) 102.4 (2nd)

View From Arizona

Arizona had all the shootouts it could handle last night, winning 5-4 in Glendale and losing 4-3 in Los Angeles via the skills competition. Max Domi, Henrik Samuelsson and Martin Hanzal put on a show for the Gila River Arena faithful, scoring three points each, but will not be on the team facing Anaheim this evening.

The Coyotes team that will play in Anaheim (see chart below) rallied back from a 3-1 deficit late in the third period to force overtime before falling in the aforementioned shootout. Team B, the designation given to the road Coyotes, lacks depth up the middle, with three of Arizona's four starting centermen on the other squad.

It will be interesting to see how long veterans like Keith Yandle, who played 26+ minutes last night, and Antoine Vermette, nearly 20 minutes, stay in the game on the second night of a back-to-back. Marek Langhamer likely gets the nod in net.

View From Anaheim

The Ducks owned the Avalanche in both split squad games last night, beating them 5-2 in Colorado and 4-0 in Anaheim. Frederik Andersen earned the shutout for the Ducks home team, stopping all 27 shots he faced.

Anaheim will ice the same team against the Coyotes Tuesday night, with a goaltender switch and the possibility of resting a few veterans, while the Coyotes will send their squad from Los Angeles. The fine folks at Anaheim Calling put together this helpful roster chart:

Arizona Anaheim
NO. PLAYER POS NO. PLAYER POS
3 Keith Yandle D 4 Cam Fowler D
5 Connor Murphy D 6 Ben Lovejoy D
6 David Schlemko D 10 Corey Perry R
10 Martin Erat R 15 Ryan Getzlaf C
18 David Moss R 16 Emerson Etem L
24 Kyle Chipchura C 18 Tim Jackman R
26 Michael Stone D 23 Francois Beauchemin D
34 Alexandre Bolduc C 41 John Kurtz L
36 Rob Klinkhammer C 42 Josh Manson D
38 Lucas Lessio L 44 Nate Thompson C
48 Jordan Martinook L 46 Nick Ritchie L
50 Antoine Vermette C 47 Hampus Lindholm D
52 Justin Hodgman C 50 Nic Kerdiles L
65 Phil Lane R 51 Dany Heatley L
68 James Melindy D 52 Brendan Bell D
71 Krys Barch R 62 Chris Wagner R
73 Justin Hache D 67 Rickard Rakell C
89 Mikkel Boedker L 74 Joseph Cramarossa C
30 Marek Langhamer G 31 Frederik Andersen G
40 Devan Dubnyk G 36 John Gibson G

Anaheim is the two-time defending Pacific Division champions and have owned the Coyotes in recent years. The Ducks will likely start John Gibson in net. Gibson is best known for his international accolades for Team USA.

These teams will face each other plenty during the regular season, so it will be interesting to see if any animosity carries over into tonight's game like what Coyotes fans saw from the other southern California team.

Keys to the Game

  • Line Building. Mikkel Boedker and Vermette will likely be together when the regular season starts (presumably next to Shane Doan). Keith Yandle needs to find a new D partner. Is it Connor Murphy or Michael Stone? Let's start removing the fuzziness from that picture.
  • Do not get hurt. Back-to-back nights, body is tired, fatigue sets in. Get through this game healthy and prepare for Friday's game with mainly NHL players.
  • Do not get hurt. Please.

Who's Hot

Lucas Lessio and Justin Hodgman each had two points in the preseason opener. Michael Stone and Phil Lane potted goals as well.

For Anaheim, Dany Heatley scored the GWG in his first game with the Ducks. Ryan Getzlaf proved that he is still good, tallying a couple assists. Ben Lovejoy had a goal and an assist, joining Getzlaf as the only home Duck to score multiple points.

Injury Report

Both teams are relatively healthy this early in the season. The Coyotes continue to be without Mark Visentin (foot) and Brendan Perlini (broken hand).

Puck Drop

Puck drop is scheduled for 7 p.m. and is a radio-only game. The contest can be heard on AnaheimDucks.com.