By Dave Vest
The Coyotes will try to snap a three-game losing streak tonight when they host the Edmonton Oilers at Jobing.com Arena. The puck drops at 7:30 p.m. (Arizona time).
Phoenix (15-12-3) will enter the game less than 24 hours after dropping a 4-1 decision to the Anaheim Ducks on Wednesday night at the Honda Center.
scored the lone goal for Phoenix, which has been outscored 13-4 in the past three games.
"We have too many players who are just playing for the sake of playing, and not playing for the sake of winning," Coyotes Head Coach Dave Tippett said after Thursday's optional morning skate. "...If we don't play well as a group, and everybody do their part, our chances of winning diminish significantly. When we have half a dozen guys who don't play well, that's too many."
The Coyotes beat Edmonton, 4-2, on Nov. 5 and have won seven of the last eight games between the teams. Goalie Mike Smith
, who made 24 saves in that game, wil start again tonight even though he started Wednesday at Anaheim.
Defenseman Chris Summers
, whom the Coyotes recalled from the American Hockey League on Thursday, will be inserted into the lineup right away, Tippett said.
|Photo by Getty Images.
The Oilers (14-13-3) have lost six of their last eight games and are coming off a 3-0 loss at Calgary on Saturday.
Edmonton is expecting forward Taylor Hall to return to the lineup after missing seven games because of a shoulder injury. Despite his injury, Hall ranks fifth on the team in points with 18. Defenseman Corey Potter (ankle injury) also is expected back in the lineup tonight.
Goalie Devan Dubnyk will make his 12th start of the season for the Oilers in place of starter Nikolai Khabibulin, who team officials say is not injured. Dubnyk is 4-7-0 with a 3.02 goals-against average this season. Khabibulin is expected to play in Edmonton's next game, on Saturday at San Jose.
"It's an opportunity to catch up to some teams that are in front of us and close the gap between us and the playoffs," left wing Ryan Jones told reporters about the next two games. "That's our goal in here right now and we have to win these games if we want to achieve that goal."