By Dave Vest
GLENDALE – The new-look Coyotes will play the Colorado Avalanche tonight at Jobing.com Arena. The puck drops at 7 p.m. (Arizona time).
Phoenix (37-22-5) will enter the game having lost three consecutive games. Under new Head Coach Dave Tippett, the Coyotes have not lost four in a row this season.
As many as five new players - Derek Morris, Wojtek Wolski, Mathieu Schneider, Lee Stempniak and Petteri Nokelainen - could be in the lineup tonight for Phoenix, which made seven trades on Wednesday before the NHL trade deadline.
Wolski and Morris will definitely be in the lineup and likely wil see time on the power play for Phoenix, which hasn't scored a power-play goal in its past 25 chances. Morris will be paired with Keith Yandle.
The Coyotes acquired Wolski from Colorado on Wednesday. Ironically, his first game with Phoenix will come against the Avalanche, who selected him with the 21st overall pick in the 2004 NHL Entry Draft. Wolski played 302 games for them before the trade and notched 193 points. (Click here to listen to Wolski speak about the trade.)
Ilya Bryzgalov, who gave up five goals on 22 shots in two periods in his first game back from the Olympics, is expected to start in goal for the Coyotes. Bryzgalov is one victory shy of tying the franchise record for victories in a season by a goalie (33).
Coyotes defenseman Ed Jovanovski did not take part in Thursday's morning skate because of an upper-body injury. He is considered day-to-day.
Colorado (36-21-6), which is in sixth place in the Western Conference standings just a point behind fifth-place Phoenix, rallied for a 4-3 victory at Anaheim on Wednesday. For the seventh time this season, the Avs rallied from two goals down to win.
EDITOR'S NOTE: Click here to watch Coyotes General Manager Don Maloney explain the major trades he made on Wednesday.
Coyotes forward Matthew Lombardi has scored four goals in the past five games and ranks third on the team with 42 points.
Avalanche center Paul Stastny, who won a silver medal at the Olympics, has notched a goal and eight assists in the past six games.
Avalanche forward Peter Mueller will make his first appearance against the Coyotes since being traded on Wednesday. Mueller netted a goal for the Avalanche in his debut on Wednesday night at Anaheim.
Coyotes goalie Ilya Bryzgalov and Avalanche goalie Craig Anderson are having similar seasons. Both have posted 32 victories and six shutouts. Bryzgalov has a 2.37 goals-against average, which is just slightly lower than Anderson's (2.44).
The Coyotes are 0-2-0 vs. Colorado this season and have been outscored 6-2 in those games. After tonight, the teams will play one last time on March 27 at Jobing.com Arena.
"I've learned the game again. I'm like a big kid again. I think I'm a better player than I was. I think I'm more sound."