By Dave Vest
ANAHEIM – The Coyotes will finish the month of November the same way they finished the month of October – with a game against the Anaheim Ducks. The puck drops inside the Honda Center tonight at 6 p.m. (Arizona time).
Both teams will enter the match after impressive victories on Friday. Phoenix (14-11-1) defeated Dallas 5-2. Ten players contributed at least one point in that game, including forward Lauri Korpikoski, who scored his first and second goals of the season in the second period.
“We did some good things to score some goals,” Coyotes Head Coach Dave Tippett said. “It’s good to get another person (Korpikoski) jumping into the ‘scoring by committee’ committee. That’s a good sign.”
The five goals the Coyotes scored were the second most they've scored in a game this season. Phoenix scored six on opening night vs. Los Angeles.
Ilya Bryzgalov, who ranks third in the NHL with a 2.12 goals-against average, is expected to be in goal against the team he broke into the NHL with. Since leaving in 2007, Bryzgalov is 6-5-2 against his former club.
Anaheim (10-11-3) is looking to extend a season-high three-game winning streak.
Goalie Jean-Sebastien Giguere has won all three games, including a 3-0 shutout of high-powered Chicago on Friday. During that span, Giguere has posted a 1.30 goals-against average and a .960 save percentage.
“Right now, I can feel our defense playing with confidence,” Giguere told reporters after Friday’s game. “They’re not scared with the puck. They are playing with assurance when they have puck.”
Coyotes center Matthew Lombardi has notched a goal and four assists in the past four games. His 11 assists for the season co-lead the team.
Ducks right wing Corey Perry has registered at least one point in 17 consecutive games. That ties a franchise record set by Teemu Selanne.
The Coyotes will play minus defenseman Ed Jovanovski (lower-body injury) and forward Peter Mueller (upper-body injury). Both players are considered day-to-day.
After tying a franchise record by winning nine games in October, the Coyotes are hoping to finish November with a 6-7-1 mark. That’s not bad considering the numerous injuries the team has had to overcome this month.
The Ducks lead the NHL in power-play efficiency on home ice at 29.3 percent. Teemu Selanne ranks third in the NHL with seven power-play goals.
"I try to be consistent every night, whether you're scoring or not... The more you simplify things, the better you'll be."