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COYOTES AT DUCKS TONIGHT

Friday, 10.03.2008 / 3:00 AM / Features
By Dave Vest
The Coyotes will play their next-to-last preseason game tonight at Honda Center against the Anaheim Ducks.

Twenty-six players are left on the training camp roster, which must be trimmed to 23 players by Oct. 8.

“We’re down to five lines, eight defensemen and two goalies,” Head Coach Wayne Gretzky said Thursday.

There are 16 forwards on the roster, and that includes center Joel Perrault, who has yet to skate in training camp because of a concussion.

Center Martin Hanzal, who had back surgery in July, is expected to play his first preseason game tonight. Ilya Bryzgalov will start in goal.

Here are the lines and defensive pairings:

Forwards
Shane Doan-Olli Jokinen-Peter Mueller
Daniel Carcillo-Kyle Turris-Mikkel Boedker
Daniel Winnik-Martin Hanzal-Viktor Tikhonov
Todd Fedoruk-Garth Murray-Brian McGrattan

Defensemen
Zbynek Michalek-Jonas Ahnelov
Ed Jovanovski-Derek Morris
Kurt Sauer-David Hale

Gretzky is hoping to get more offensive production from the Coyotes tonight and in the preseason finale Saturday night vs. the Los Angeles Kings at Jobing.com Arena.

“We talked a lot today about generating more speed in the neutral zone,” Gretzky said after Thursday’s practice. "One of the things that we have as a tremendous positive and a good weapon is our speed and our energy, so we want to generate some more speed in the neutral zone. We worked on that a lot today …We’re just not scoring enough.”

Meanwhile, Gretzky has liked how the Coyotes have played defense.

“We’re really happy with our defensive coverage,” Gretzky said. “I think our guys have been really responsible, and people have been in the proper defensive positions, and we haven’t given up a lot of two-on-ones or three-on-twos. So, there are good signs early in the season."


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