By Dave Vest
The Coyotes will try to win their fourth consecutive game tonight when they host the Anaheim Ducks at Jobing.com Arena. The puck drops at 6 p.m. (Arizona time).
The Coyotes (22-13-9), who are unbeaten in regulation in their last seven games (5-0-2), will enter the matchup in fourth place in the Western Conference standings with 53 points, one more than Anaheim (24-18-4), which also has won three games in a row.
, who has won his past three starts, is expected to play tonight against the Ducks, the team that drafted him in 2000 and then waived him in 2007. Bryzgalov has stopped 91 of 97 shots during Phoenix’s winning streak. Ducks goalie Jonas Hiller, who was recently selected to play in the 2011 NHL All-Star Game, likely will tend Anaheim’s net. Hiller has stopped 94 of 98 shots during Anaheim’s winning streak.
Coyotes defenseman Ed Jovanovski
may return to the lineup tonight after missing the third period of Thursday’s game vs. Toronto because of a lower-body injury (see PODCASTS
below). Jovanovski suffered the injury on a brutal hit to the head by Toronto’s Mike Brown. The NHL on Friday suspended Brown for three games for the hit.
Coyotes defenseman Michal Rozsival
has been skating on his own the past few days as he continues to nurse an upper-body injury. The Coyotes, of course, acquired Rozsival on Monday from the New York Rangers in exchange for forward Wojtek Wolski. Rozsival won’t make his debut with the Coyotes until next week.
|Photo by Getty Images.
Tonight’s game will be the fifth between these Pacific Division rivals this season. The Ducks have won three of the first four, including both games played at Jobing.com Arena -- 6-4 on Nov. 27 and 3-1 on Dec. 28.
"We have to take care of the puck a little better than we did the last game we played them (on Dec. 28)," said Coyotes winger Ray Whitney
, whose 30 points rank tied for second on the team. "We gave them a couple of great opportunities by our mistakes. If we manage the puck a little bit better and bring the work ethic like we did the other night (vs. Toronto), I think we'll be fine."
The last time these teams played in Glendale, Ducks captain Ryan Getzlaf was hit in the face by a shot off the stick of Coyotes captain Shane Doan
. Getzlaf hasn’t played since, but the Ducks have posted a 5-1-0 record without him.
"We're starting to get a quiet confidence in what we're doing," Ducks defenseman Andy Sutton told the Orange County Register.