By Dave Vest The Coyotes will play their final game before the NHL All-Star break tonight against the Colorado Avalanche at the Pepsi Center. The puck drops at 7 p.m. (Arizona time).
Photo by Getty Images.
Phoenix (24-17-9) will enter the game in sixth place in the Western Conference standings, one point ahead of the Colorado (25-18-6).
Tonight's game is the second of four between the teams this season. Coyotes backup goalie Jason LaBarbera made 34 saves to key a 2-0 win for Phoenix at the Pepsi Center on Jan. 6. Ilya Bryzgalov will start for Phoenix this time around.
The Coyotes will be looking to shake off a troubling 4-3 home loss to last-place Edmonton on Tuesday night in which they blew a 2-0 lead.
Defenseman Keith Yandle, who will represent the Coyotes in the NHL All-Star Game on Sunday, had two assists in Tuesday's loss to extend his point streak to eight games. The second assist was his 42nd point of the season, which sets a career-high for points in a season for Yandle with 32 games to play. Only Anaheim's Lubomir Visnovsky has more points (43) this season than Yandle among N HL defensemen.
► EDITOR'S NOTE: Click here to watch an exclusive interview with Keith Yandle regarding his upcoming participation in the NHL All-Star Game.
Tonight's game will close a five-game homestand for the Avalanche, who have split the first four games.
Peter Budaj, who has won three of four decisions in January, will start in goal for the Avalanche, according to the team's official Web site.
Forward Matt Duchene is leading the Avalanche with 19 goals and 44 points. Like Yandle, Duchene and teammate Paul Stastny (17 goals, 25 assists) will play in Sunday's NHL All-Star Game.
Former NHL MVP Peter Forsberg has been practicing with the Avalanche recently. The 37-year-old is contemplating a comeback.
Coyotes left wing Scottie Upshall scored two goals in Tuesday's game vs. Edmonton and shares the team lead for goals with 14.
Avalanche defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk has notched at least one point in each of the past four games.
Coyotes right wing Radim Vrbata was selected by the Avalanche with the 212th pick in the 1999 NHL Entry Draft. Vrbata played 118 games for Colorado before being traded to Carolina in 2003.
The Coyotes have scored a power-play goal in each of the last four games (4 for 13).
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 Coyotes captain Shane Doan discuss Wednesday's game at Colorado with Todd Walsh of Fox Sports Arizona.