Season series: It's the first of four meetings this season between the Pacific Division rivals. The Ducks will stay in Glendale for another game Monday night, and both teams will head back to Anaheim for a third straight meeting on Wednesday night.
Big story: While the Chicago Blackhawks are getting all the attention because they have yet to lose in regulation, the Ducks just keep on winning as well. They've won eight of their last nine, including a 3-2 victory against Minnesota on Friday. The Coyotes are coming off a 4-3 home loss to the Wild on Thursday.
Coyotes: Seeing the same team for three games in a row is almost unheard of in the NHL. Thus, Coyotes Head Coach Dave Tippett said he and his staff will prepare as if they were getting ready for a playoff series.
“It is a little bit like a playoff series where after each game there are subtle tweaks you want to make to try to get an advantage or to correct issues that might be in the game,” Coyotes Head Coach Dave Tippett said. “It makes it fun as a coach because you dig in and you have to find ways to make your team better but by playing the same opponent.”
Phoenix has played three consecutive regular-season games against the same opponent only once in franchise history: vs. San Jose on Nov. 10, 12 and 15 in 2007.
Mike Smith is expected to be back in goal for the Coyotes after giving up four goals and being pulled after two periods on Thursday night in a 4-3 loss to Minnesota. Smith is 6-3-1 with a .908 save percentage in 11 career games against the Ducks.
The Coyotes will again play minus injured forwards Radim Vrbata (lower body) and Martin Hanzal (upper body). Both were placed on the injured reserve list on Friday. Later in the day, the Coyotes recalled forwards Chris Brown and Rob Klinkhammer from the American Hockey League. Klinkhammer has 16 games on his NHL resume; Brown is a first-year pro.
Ducks: Anaheim is off to the best start in franchise history -- this edition of the Ducks has more points at the same stage of the season than the 2006-07 team that won the Stanley Cup. That club was 13-2-4 through 19 games.
After blitzing Nashville 5-1 on Wednesday, the Ducks appeared to be poised to do the same to the Wild when they led 3-0 in the second period. But Minnesota scored twice in the final period and pushed the Ducks to the limit before coming up short.
"Obviously nobody expects to start the way we did, but guys are doing the right things," said Ducks captain Ryan Getzlaf, a member of the '06-07 team. "On nights like tonight where we probably didn't have our best thing all night, we started off good in the third period and had goaltending to keep us in it. Good teams find ways to win even when they shouldn't."
Who's hot: Coyotes forward Mikkel Boedker has back-to-back two-point performances and has put up six points in the last five games. ... Getzlaf had a goal on Friday, giving him a five-game scoring streak in which he's put up 10 points.
Injury report: Phoenix is still without two key forwards, Martin Hanzal (upper body) and Radim Vrbata (lower body). Both are on IR. So is defenseman David Schlemko. ... Anaheim's fast start has been fueled by good health; the Ducks have no injuries to report.
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