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Wednesday, 08.06.2014 / 1:49 AM
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Blue Jackets-Coyotes Preview
Columbus Blue Jackets vs. Phoenix Coyotes
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By Dave Vest
After an extraordinary and often frustrating off-season for the franchise and its fans, the Coyotes are pulling out all the stops for their first home game of the 2009-10 season on Saturday night at Arena.

To celebrate the franchise’s continued existence in Phoenix/Glendale, the team is hosting a Welcome Back Whiteout. The game, which begins at 6 p.m., is sold out.

“The fan response to the Welcome Back Whiteout offer has been tremendous and we’d like to thank everyone for their support,” Coyotes President Doug Moss said.

The players are looking forward to the playoff-like atmosphere.

“Every athlete has an ego and it’s great for us to have a full building and have people around watching you and cheering for you,” said captain Shane Doan, who is celebrating his 33rd birthday on Saturday. “… It creates a great energy.”

The Coyotes will be pitted against the Columbus Blue Jackets. Both teams have started the season by winning two of their first three games.

Ilya Bryzgalov will start in goal for the Coyotes, who will be looking to rebound from a tough 2-1 defeat at Buffalo on Thursday night.

Late penalties hurt the Coyotes vs. Buffalo. Head Coach Dave Tippett, who will be making his home debut tonight, wants his players to recognize the fine line between aggressive play and undisciplined play.

“We kept shooting ourselves in the foot and it caught up with us,” Tippett said. “… Sometimes players get emotional and they get caught up in the emotion. It’s a skill to make sure you have control of those emotions, so we need to work on that skill.”

The Blue Jackets also lost on Thursday - 6-3 at the San Jose Sharks. Goalie Steve Mason, who won the Calder Trophy last season, was pulled early in the third period after giving up five goals on 20 shots. Backup Mathieu Garon is expected to start vs. the Coyotes.
Ilya Bryzgalov is 2-0-0 with a 1.50 goals-against average. He has not allowed an even-strength goal in his two starts, nor has he allowed a goal since LA’s Drew Doughty got a shot past him at the 11:56 mark of the third period of the season opener on Oct. 3.
After not getting a point in the season opener, Columbus forward Rick Nash has notched one goal and four assists in the past two games. He had a season-high six shots on goal vs. San Jose on Thursday at the HP Pavilion.
  • The Coyotes have won their past five home openers including all four played at Arena. The last home opener they lost came on Oct. 12, 2002 against Dallas, in Tippett’s third game as head coach of the Stars.

  • The Coyotes are hoping forward Petr Prucha can play after being knocked out of Thursday’s game by a nasty check delivered by Buffalo’s Patrick Kaleta. On Saturday morning, Tippett said Prucha's participation would be a game-time decision.

  • The Blue Jackets have killed 10 of 11 power plays in three games. Their 90.9 percent success rate is second only to the New York Islanders, who have yet to allow a power-play goal this season.

“We’ve had some success and if we stay out of the penalty box we’re going to be a tough team to beat.”

'Yotes Quotes:
Shane Doan

Coach's Corner:
Sean Burke

  Mike Commodore
  Fredrik Modin
  Taylor Pyatt
  Kurt Sauer
2009-2010 season series
DateScoreW. Goal
Dec 21 '09 CBJ 2 at PHX 5 S. Doan
Dec 17 '09 PHX 2 at CBJ 1 - SO R. Lang
Oct 28 '09 PHX 4 at CBJ 1 J. Vandermeer
Oct 10 '09 CBJ 2 at PHX 0 R. Nash
R. Nash4246+0201
R. Klesla4224-2801
K. Huselius4134+0000
A. Vermette4123+1000
F. Tyutin4033-5000
R. Umberger4202+2200
R. Torres4202-1420
J. Voracek4022+1000
M. Roy3022+3000
N. Filatov4101+1201
J. Chimera4101+0000
J. Hejda4011+7200
M. Methot4011+21000
D. Brassard4011-1600
A. Murray3011+1000
K. Russell3011+1000
S. Pahlsson4000+1200
J. Boll2000+0000
D. Dorsett2000+0900
A. Stralman2000-1000
M. Blunden1000+0500
S. Mason32-1-09963.33.906
M. Garon21-0-01440.77.977
R. Vrbata4314+2211
M. Lombardi4202+1210
E. Jovanovski4112+1211
P. Prucha4112+1010
R. Lang4112+0000
A. Aucoin4022+2600
S. Doan4022-1000
S. Upshall4101+11000
D. Winnik4101+1000
J. Vandermeer4011+3400
Z. Michalek4011+2000
V. Fiddler4011+1200
P. Mueller4011+1200
M. Hanzal4011+02300
M. Boedker4000+0000
K. Yandle4000-2400
L. Korpikoski3000+1000
S. Lepisto3000-1200
K. Sauer1000+1000
P. Bissonnette1000+0000
I. Bryzgalov32-1-04751.34.947
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