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Coyotes-Wild Preview

Wednesday, 08.06.2014 / 1:49 AM
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Coyotes-Wild Preview
Phoenix Coyotes vs. Minnesota Wild

By Dave Vest
The Coyotes will begin a stretch of three games in four nights tonight with a match against the Minnesota Wild at the Xcel Energy Center. The puck drops at 6 p.m. (Arizona time). Fox Sports Arizona will broadcast tonight's game at 10:30 p.m.

Phoenix (36-19-5) will enter the game having won seven of its past eight games and in fourth place in the Western Conference standings with 77 points. Only three teams in the NHL - Washington, San Jose and Chicago - have earned more points.

Ilya Bryzgalov, who has stopped 70 of 76 shots vs. the Wild this season and posted a 3-0-0 record and a 2.00 goals-against average against them, will be in goal for Phoenix. Defenseman Ed Jovanovski has led the way offensively for the Coyotes vs. Minnesota this season with four points, all assists.

The Coyotes are hoping captain/points leader Shane Doan and center Vernon Fiddler will be healthy enough to play. Both suffered upper-body injuries in Monday's 6-1 win over Edmonton and left that game early.

After Wednesday's morning skate, Coyotes Head Coach Dave Tippett said he is planning on both Doan and Fiddler playing tonight.

EDITOR'S NOTE: Click here to listen to Tippett's pre-game remarks.

Center Joel Perrault also suffered an upper-body injury vs. Edmonton and was placed on the injured-reserve list on Tuesday.

Minnesota (29-25-4) has won four consecutive games at home and has earned at least one point in nine straight games at the Xcel Energy Center (8-0-1).

The Wild, who haven't played since beating the Philadelphia Flyers 2-1 at home on Saturday, will enter the game in 12th place in the Western Conference standings with 62 points, five points behind eighth-place Calgary.

Wild goalie Niklas Backstrom, who has missed the last six games because of a back injury and then an illness, will start tonight.

"Everything is good so far," Backstrom told "I have been skating four times, and so far everything is good and I think I'm ready to play. It's up to the coach to make the decision to see who plays, but I feel good out there."
Coyotes forward Matthew Lombardi on Monday snapped a five-game pointless streak by notching two goals and three assists in a 6-1 victory over Edmonton.
Wild left wing Guillaume Latendresse, the 45th overall pick in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft, has notched two goals and two assists in the past four games.
  • The Coyotes have won the first three games between these teams this season and have outscored the Wild 11-6 in those games. Phoenix has never swept all eight points from Minnesota in one season.

  • The Coyotes will enter the game with an 8-4-0 record vs. teams from the Northwest Division. Meanwhile, the Wild will enter the game with a 4-11-0 record vs. teams from the Pacific Division.

  • Who says this is a younger man's game? If this game needs to be decided by a shootout, look for veterans Adrian Aucoin, 36, and Owen Nolan, 37, to participate. Both are 2 for 2 in shootouts this season.

"Our coaching staff has done a great job with our system play and everything. I think (ranking high in the standings) is where we expected we would be."

Daniel Winnik

  P.M. Bouchard
  Chuck Kobasew
  Clayton Stoner
  Joel Perrault
  Kurt Sauer
  Scottie Upshall
2009-2010 season series
DateScoreW. Goal
Feb 10 '10 PHX 3 at MIN 2 R. Vrbata
Jan 16 '10 MIN 4 at PHX 6 V. Fiddler
Dec 07 '09 MIN 0 at PHX 2 S. Upshall
Nov 18 '09 PHX 3 at MIN 2 S. Upshall
S. Doan61172946+03554
M. Lombardi57132841+12641
R. Vrbata61201737+151854
S. Upshall49181432+55024
K. Yandle61102030+114152
E. Jovanovski47101929-24752
R. Lang6092029-22831
M. Hanzal6072128+56610
A. Aucoin6171522+04012
P. Prucha6011819+41921
V. Fiddler5551419+53001
D. Winnik5431417+21001
P. Mueller5141216-4811
T. Pyatt548715+62011
J. Vandermeer544812+65001
Z. Michalek523912+72421
S. Lepisto53189+54401
L. Korpikoski50437-121001
P. Bissonnette38325-110001
D. Schlemko17145+1800
M. Boedker13123+2000
A. Eriksson12033+0200
S. Heshka8022+0400
K. Porter4000+1000
J. Hoggan4000-1200
K. Sauer1000+1000
J. Perrault1000+0000
I. Bryzgalov5232-15-411714752.29.921
J. LaBarbera125-4-1253182.29.921
M. Koivu59163652-32852
A. Brunette59152944-21082
M. Havlat53142741-62032
E. Belanger58132134+02633
M. Zidlicky5843034-24722
A. Miettinen56161531-32844
G. Latendresse5719928+11233
O. Nolan54141327+12333
K. Brodziak5961824-21401
C. Clutterbuck5211415-33411
K. Johnsson526814+32630
N. Schultz5911314-52510
S. Hnidy5821012-26200
B. Burns3021012-102420
C. Kobasew344610-81410
G. Zanon592810-72800
A. Ebbett44516-1612
R. Earl22505+4600
J. Sheppard43235-62500
B. Pouliot14224+01200
P. Sykora14213-7800
D. Boogaard42033-117900
C. Stoner8022+11200
J. Scott34101-25700
N. Smith9000-41200
J. Sifers8000+1200
A. Hilbert4000-2200
D. Irmen2000-1000
P. Bouchard1000+0200
N. Backstrom4422-17-411811942.75.901
J. Harding175-8-0404212.79.905
A. Khudobin22-0-01480.87.979
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