NHL.com Staff Writer
The Coyotes will play the Anaheim Ducks on Sunday at the Honda Center in Anaheim. The puck drops at 5 p.m. (Arizona time.)
This is the first of six meetings this season between these Pacific Division rivals. Phoenix won four of six in 2009-10, including consecutive shutouts by Ilya Bryzgalov
in the two most recent matchups. Twelve different Coyotes scored in the series -- captain Shane Doan
led the way with three goals, including the overtime tally in a 3-2 win on Nov. 29. Bobby Ryan's three goals paced the Ducks.
Backup goalie Jason LaBarbera
will make his 2010-11 debut for the Coyotes.
This is the second game in 24 hours for Phoenix (1-1-1), which opened the season by splitting a pair of games against Boston in the Czech Republic before returning home to Jobing.com Arena for a rematch of last spring's first-round playoff series with Detroit. Unfortunately for the Coyotes, they got the same disappointing result -- despite opening the scoring on a Martin Hanzal
goal late in the first period, they fell 2-1 in overtime as Niklas Kronwall connected on a late power play for the Red Wings.
"You give a good power play that many chances and they are going to score," Doan said after Phoenix took eight penalties -- six coming in the third period and overtime. "We felt like we controlled the game when it was 5-on-5, but they found ways to get power plays and we didn't."
The recent addition of Andreas Lilja and the return to good health of free-agent acquisition Toni Lydman should help what to this point has been a porous Anaheim defense. Lilja was added to the roster Saturday after his visa was approved, while Lydman, who suffered from double vision during the preseason, played his first game with the Ducks (1-3-1) on Friday. He scored a goal in his debut, but his team blew a two-goal lead in the third period to the visiting Thrashers and lost 5-4 in the shootout.
"Any time you lose in your own building, it's disappointing, especially when you have the lead going into the third," captain Ryan Getzlaf said. "We worked pretty hard all game long. We needed to close it out of the end and we didn't."
Dave Vest of phoenixcoyotes.com contributed to this preview.