COYOTES VS. ANAHEIM: GAME PREVIEW
Friday, 11.11.2005 / 3:10 PM MT / News
|Anaheim at Phoenix|
Mighty Ducks-Coyotes Preview
GAME: Anaheim Mighty Ducks (7-6-3) at Phoenix Coyotes (8-9-2).
TIME: Saturday, 9 p.m. EST.
The Anaheim Mighty Ducks look to snap their three-game losing streak when they visit a Phoenix Coyotes team they haven't lost to in two years.
The Ducks are unbeaten in their last six games against the Coyotes, including a pair of wins this season. One more victory would give Anaheim its best streak against Phoenix in team history.
Anaheim could use a win after tough losses in its last three games. Following a 4-3 defeat on Nov. 3 at Colorado, the Ducks lost in overtime to San Jose the next night and in a shootout Sunday to Minnesota.
Ducks center Sergei Fedorov, who has been out since Oct. 10 with a groin injury, could return for Saturday's game.
"I think we've had a pretty good start when you consider the kind of injuries that we've had," said forward Teemu Selanne, who leads the Ducks with nine goals and 18 points. "We've only played a couple of games with a full roster yet."
Selanne has five points in two games this season against his former team. He still holds the franchise's single-season records in goals (76) and points (132), set in 1992-93 when the team was the Winnipeg Jets.
The Ducks have played well at home with a 6-1-2 mark, but they've struggled on the road. Anaheim is 1-5-1 away from home, with its only points coming in its first two road games of the season. Since then, the Ducks have lost five straight away from Arrowhead Pond.
After this contest, the Ducks return to Anaheim to begin a four-game homestand. Their next road game is Nov. 22, also against the Coyotes.
Phoenix is coming off a 4-3 loss to Calgary Thursday in which Flames winger Jarome Iginla scored the winning goal on a penalty shot.
"They just kept coming at us, and we didn't respond the way we had to respond to win," Phoenix coach Wayne Gretzky said.
The loss snapped goalie Curtis Joseph's three-game winning streak. Joseph remains tied with Grant Fuhr, his goaltending coach, for eighth on the all-time wins list with 403. The Coyotes are 3-1-1 in their last five games, but they haven't been able to solve the Ducks. In the first meeting between the division rivals this season, Joseph gave up three goals in the first period and was pulled for backup David LeNeveu. LeNeveu saved 24 of 27 shots in starting the second matchup.
Phoenix's Paul Mara notched an assist against Calgary, and is among the NHL leaders in points for defensemen with 15. He's struggled against the Ducks in his career, though, with only four points in 19 games.
STANDINGS (through Nov. 10): Mighty Ducks - 17 points, 4th place (tied), 4 PB, Pacific Division. Coyotes - 18 points, 3rd place, 3 PB, Pacific Division.
TEAM LEADERS: Mighty Ducks - Selanne, 9 goals and 18 points; Selanne and Rob Niedermayer, 9 assists; Kip Brennan, 35 PIM. Coyotes - Mike Leclerc, 8 goals; Mara, 12 assists; Leclerc and Mara, 15 points; Keith Ballard and Tyson Nash, 40 PIM.
SPECIAL TEAMS (through Nov. 10): Mighty Ducks - Power play: 17.4 percent (18 for 103), 17th in NHL. Penalty killing: 81.5 percent (93 for 114), 15th. Coyotes - Power play: 19.3 percent (24 for 124), 11th. Penalty killing: 80.1 percent (85 for 106), 22nd.
GOALTENDERS: Mighty Ducks - Jean-Sebastien Giguere (6-2-3, 2.43 GAA); Ilya Bryzgalov (1-4-0, 3.27). Coyotes - Joseph (7-5-0, 2 SO, 2.28); LeNeveu (1-4-2, 3.10).
SEASON SERIES: Mighty Ducks, 2-0.
LAST MEETING: Oct. 30; Mighty Ducks, 3-2. At Anaheim, Calif., Andy McDonald scored twice and Selanne had a goal and two assists as the Ducks beat the Coyotes for the third straight time.
ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Mighty Ducks - 1-5-1 on the road; Coyotes - 4-3-1 at home.
Following the Coyotes practice session on Friday, Phoenix forward Tyson Nash skated on his own as he recovers from a lower abdominal strain.
Earlier in the week, Nash underwent an MRI after feeling discomfort n his midsection for over a week. Luckily for Nash and the Coyotes, there wear no muscle tears, only a minor strain which should heal completely.
"It was something that makes you worry a little,' said Nash. "I have had double hernia surgery a few years ago and I was worried that this may have been a new serious injury, but the MRI clearly showed no tear so I am just working on getting back to 100% and getting back on the ice."
The Coyotes have not set an exact return date for Nash at this time. He is currently listed as day-to-day.
Defenseman Dennis Gauthier continued practicing with his teammates on Friday and hopes to be back in the Coyotes line up, possibly as early as next Wednesday when Phoenix hosts the Colorado Avalanche.
"It is amazing how much one finger effects your ability to shoot, stickhandle, even pass," said Gauthier. "The plan right now is that I will meet with the doctor on Monday and if everything checks out, I could be ready by Wednesday."
Petr Nedved also skated on his own following the Coyotes practice on Friday as he recovers from a hyper-extended elbow injury.
Nedved did not accompany the Coyotes on their three-game road trip last week and while he is making progress, there is still no date set for his return. Nedved is currently listed as day-to-day.
Phoenix goaltender Brian Boucher did not practice on Friday as he recovers from a knee sprain. Boucher incurred the knee injury while on a rehab assignment as he recovered from a pre-season groin injury.
No return date has been set for Boucher at this time.
The Coyotes return to Glendale Arena on Saturday night as they face-off against the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim. The game time is set for 7:00 p.m.
Saturday night's game will also be a "Coyotes Family Pack Night" game. Purchase 4 tickets, 4 hot dogs and 4 small sodas for only $68.00, or upgrade to $50.00 tickets for only $136.00.
To purchase a "Coyotes Family Pack" for Saturday's game, click here.
To purchase individual tickets for Saturday's game, click here.