1 2 3 T
Phoenix Coyotes PHX 0 0 0 0
18 SHOTS 24
27 HITS 24
2 PIM 6
0/3 PP 0/1

Preview: Coyotes at Ducks

Wednesday, 03.06.2013 / 7:44 PM

Season series: This is the third meeting in five days between the two clubs. Phoenix won both of the contests at Jobing.com Arena in 5-4 shootouts.

Big story: The Coyotes can complete a sweep of this mini-series and cut the Ducks' lead in the Pacific Division to six points with a regulation victory.

Team Scope:

Coyotes: Phoenix has shown resiliency in these two comebacks, but if the Coyotes have designs on defending their division title they probably are going to need regulation wins against the Ducks. Cutting 40 percent of Anaheim's lead in five days would be a great start.

"Obviously they've built up a fairly huge lead on everybody else and they're a little more comfortable I'm sure, but we have to be a little desperate," Coyotes captain Shane Doan said.

Phoenix is scoring a lot of goals this season, something that couldn't be said recently. The Coyotes are eighth in the League in offense at 2.91 goals per game. They haven't finished above 15th since 2001-02.

“Maybe this is new Coyotes hockey,” Head Coach Dave Tippett said with a laugh. “You never know.”

He added, “There are going to be games that are tight games, that are 1-0 or 2-1, and there are going to be some that mistakes are exploited more, and that’s what you’ve seen the last couple of games. ... We have a mind-set of we’re going to win and when you get down in games, you still have to try to find a way to win and our players have done a good job of that.”

Four Coyotes - Oliver Ekman-Larsson, Shane Doan, Keith Yandle and Steve Sullivan - will enter tonight's game with three-game point streaks.

Backup goalie Jason LaBarbera is expected to make his third start of the season in place of Mike Smith, who has started 15 games in a row.

Ducks: Anaheim has lost consecutive games for the first time this season. The Ducks have yielded the lead three times in the two contests, including a third-period advantage.

"We've got a little work to do," center Ryan Getzlaf told the Ducks' website. "They're a good team, and we didn't allow ourselves to get going at any time. Every time we did something in a positive way, we took a step back. We've got to go back home and take care of our building now."

Anaheim has been the highest-scoring team in the Western Conference, and it has been a by-committee approach. Nine players have at least five goals, no one has more than eight, and the Ducks are averaging 3.38 per contest.

Who's hot: Coyotes forward Kyle Chipchura has posted 4 goals and six assists in his last 12 games and ranks third on the team with a plus-7 rating. ... Getzlaf has four goals and 13 points in the past seven games.

Injury report: Coyotes forward Radim Vrbata (lower body) and defenseman David Schlemko (shoulder) are on injured reserve. Vrbata traveled with the team to Anaheim and is a possibility to return Wednesday. … Ducks forward Kyle Palmieri (upper body) missed the game Monday and is questionable. Defenseman Hampus Lindholm (concussion) is out.

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