COYOTES AT COLORADO: GAME PREVIEW
|Phoenix at Colorado|
GAME: Phoenix Coyotes (18-16-2) at Colorado Avalanche (18-15-3).
TIME: Monday, 9 p.m. EST.
While a pair of other rookies have received most of the headlines, Colorado's Marek Svatos has quietly put himself in contention for the Calder Trophy.
Svatos will try to become the second rookie to notch 20 goals this season as the Avalanche look to extend their home unbeaten streak over the Phoenix Coyotes to eight games when the teams meet at Pepsi Arena.
Svatos, a Slovakian native and one of 11 Avalanche players recently selected to represent eight countries at the Turin Olympics, needs one goal to match Alexander Ovechkin of the Washington Capitals for the league lead among first-year players.
Pittsburgh's Sidney Crosby is tied for third among rookies with 16 goals.
Two of Svatos' team-high 19 goals came in Colorado's only matchup this season with Phoenix on Nov. 16.
Svatos scored for the second straight game Friday, but Colorado lost 5-3 to the Minnesota Wild, settling for a split of the home-and-home series.
"This game was played in spurts," Colorado's Andrew Brunette said. "If we could've kept it tied with five minutes to play, we could've gotten a win tonight."
Colorado is 6-0-1 in its last seven home matchups against Phoenix since Nov. 29, 2000, holding the Coyotes to nine goals in that span.
Phoenix is looking to match a season-high with its third straight win. Canadian Olympic team selection Shane Doan and Dave Scatchard scored 22 seconds apart in the third period in the Coyotes' 3-2 win Friday over the Dallas Stars.
Doan scored for the first time in 18 games, while Scatchard scored for just the second time since being acquired in mid-November from the Boston Bruins.
"I've been a little snakebitten," Scatchard said. "I've just been working hard to get something going and I got a lucky goal to help us win."
The Coyotes played most of the game without veteran center Petr Nedved, who suffered a groin injury. His status for this contest in unknown. The former first-round pick of the Vancouver Canucks in the 1990 draft has not scored in 13 games since Oct. 25.
Leading scorer Ladislav Nagy, a teammate of Svatos' on the Slovakian Olympic team, has just three assists in his last six games. He has only one goal in six career games at Colorado.
STANDINGS: Coyotes - 38 points, 3rd place (tied), 7 PB, Pacific Division. Avalanche - 39 points, 4th place, 7 PB, Northwest Division.
TEAM LEADERS: Coyotes - Mike Comrie, 13 goals; Nagy, 24 assists and 36 points; Sean O'Donnell, 71 PIM. Avalanche - Svatos, 19 goals; Alex Tanguay, 26 assists and 38 points; Ian Laperriere, 59 PIM.
SPECIAL TEAMS (through Dec. 25): Coyotes - Power play: 18.6 percent (44 for 236), 11th (tied) in NHL. Penalty killing: 81.7 percent (183 for 224), 20th. Avalanche - Power play: 19.4 percent (44 for 227), 6th. Penalty killing: 84.2 percent (170 for 202), 7th (tied).
GOALTENDERS: Coyotes - Curtis Joseph (15-10-0, 2 SO, 2.38 GAA); Brian Boucher (1-1-0, 2.83). Avalanche - Vitaly Kolesnik (3-3-0, 2.99); Peter Budaj (4-5-3, 2.80).
SEASON SERIES: Avalanche, 1-0.
LAST MEETING: Nov. 16, Avalanche, 3-1. At Glendale, Ariz., Svatos' second goal of the game 1:56 into the third period put Colorado ahead for good. Mike Johnson scored for Phoenix.
ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Coyotes - 8-9-1 on the road; Avalanche - 9-5-3 at home.