By Dave Vest | Anthony Perez The Coyotes will play the Colorado Avalanche for the first time this season tonight at the Pepsi Center. The puck drops at 7 p.m. (Arizona time).
Phoenix (18-13-8) enters the game looking for its first set of back-to-back victories since Nov. 21-23.
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Colorado (21-14-5) enters the game ranked second in the NHL in goals scored with 136 in 40 games. Only Detroit has lit the lamp more this season.
“They’re a young team and they play the game fast,” Coyotes Head Coach Dave Tippett said, “... so we’re going to have to go in and make sure we play a solid road game.”
The Coyotes have scored 18 goals in the past four games. Captain Shane Doan has led the way with five goals (and four assists) in that span.
“When your leaders are playing hard and giving everything they've got every night it makes everything else fall into place,” Tippett said. “…When your captain is going as well as he is, that drags other people along, and that’s what you want your best players to do.”
Coyotes center Kyle Turris, who left Phoenix's 4-2 victory over Columbus on Tuesday because of an upper-body injury, skated at Wednesday's optional practice but likely will not play tonight.
The Avalanche, who are coming off a 4-3 overtime victory at home over Buffalo on Tuesday, currently sit in second place in the Northwest Division 10 points behind red-hot Vancouver.
Matt Duchene leads Colorado with 16 goals and 24 assists for 40 points in 40 games, while goaltender Craig Anderson has appeared in 22 games, posting a record of 11-8-2 with a 3.13 goals-against-average and a .901 save percentage.
► UPDATE: The Coyotes on Thursday recalled goalie Matt Climie from the AHL to fill in for Ilya Bryzgalov, who will miss tonight's game vs. Colorado because of a medical situation involving a family member. Bryzgalov is expected to rejoin the team at practice on Friday.
Coyotes captain Shane Doan has notched at least one point in each of the past seven games, and has scored six goals in the past five games.
Avalanche center Matt Duchene, the third overall pick in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft, has notched three goals and three assists in the past five games.
Coyotes winger Wojtek Wolski will make his first appearance at the Pepsi Center since being traded by Colorado to Phoenix in March of 2010. The Avalanche drafted Wolski with the 21st overall pick in the 2004 NHL Entry Draft and he played 302 games for Colorado before the trade. Wolski had two goals and two assists in two games against Colorado last season in Glendale.
Coyotes defenseman Keith Yandle, who leads the team in scoring with 30 points (six goals, 24 assists), is riding a career-high five-game point streak.
This game can be heard on XTRA Sports 910 (AM). A link to the radio broadcast will be provided at phoenixcoyotes.com at 7 p.m.
Click below to listen to Head Coach Dave Tippett answer questions about tonight's game.