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Rangers-Coyotes Preview

Wednesday, 08.06.2014 / 1:49 AM
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Rangers-Coyotes Preview
New York Rangers vs. Phoenix Coyotes

The Skinny
 
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By Dave Vest
GLENDALE – The Coyotes will try to start a new winning streak tonight when they host the New York Rangers at Jobing.com Arena. The puck drops at 6 p.m. (Arizona time).

Nine players notched at least one point on Thursday as Phoenix (16-12-3) defeated Edmonton, 4-2, on home ice to snap a three-game skid.

“We had a strong effort right throughout our lineup, and we have to build on that consistency we talk about all the time,” Coyotes Head Coach Dave Tippett said. “It's as simple as that. The last few games, we didn't think we played as well as we should have, but to come and play a game and work hard for a win, that's kind of the way we have to play, the way we have to have success. We're looking to repeat that (tonight). They're a real good, hard-working team, so it'll be a challenge.”

► Click here to watch more comments from Tippett regarding tonight’s game.

Mike Smith will start in goal for the Coyotes, one game after tying his career high for wins in a season (14) vs. Edmonton on Thursday. Meanwhile, the Coyotes on Saturday recalled goalie Justin Pogge from the American Hockey League on an emergency basis to replace backup Jason LaBarbera, who has left the team briefly because of "family issues," per Coyotes General Manager Don Maloney.

Defenseman Michal Rozsival is looking forward to the game, his first against the Rangers since New York traded him to Phoenix last season (see PODCASTS below).

“It’s going to be good to see some of those faces I used to play with,” said Rozsival, who appeared in 432 regular-season games with the Rangers from 2005-11 and notched 42 goals and 134 assists during that time. "It’s kind of a funny feeling.”

The Rangers (17-8-4), who will be making just their fourth appearance inside Jobing.com Arena since it opened in 2003, will enter the game riding a two-game losing streak during which they’ve been outscored 5-1 vs. Dallas and St. Louis.

Photo by Getty Images.
“We’ve just got to keep working," Rangers captain Ryan Callahan told reporters after Thursday’s 4-1 loss at St. Louis. "You go through stretches where you're not scoring goals and you don't look at what's happening, you’ve got to realize why we're not getting opportunities ... I think it just comes down to a compete level and getting pucks to the net and being able to sacrifice yourself to get to that dirty area."

Right wing Marian Gaborik, who co-leads the Rangers with 25 points, has notched 11 goals and three assists in his last 11 games vs. Phoenix, dating to his time with Minnesota.

Rangers backup goalie Martin Biron will start tonight’s game, the first of two between these teams in the next 24 days. Phoenix will visit Madison Square Garden on Jan. 10.

The Rangers are an intriguing team when it comes to the power play. At home, New York ranks fifth in the NHL at 21.7 percent efficiency. On the road, however, they rank 28th in the League at just 10.9 percent.


Who's Hot
 
Ekman-Larsson
Coyotes defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson scored a goal on Thursday vs. Edmonton and leads all Coyotes defensemen with six. He has 11 points in 31 games, matching his total for all of last season.
Del Zotto
Rangers defenseman Michael Del Zotto is averaging a point per game over the past six games and scored the team's lone goal in a 4-1 loss at St. Louis on Thursday.
Did You Know?
 
  • Coyotes General Manager Don Maloney spent 10 seasons as a member of the New York Rangers front office before taking over in Phoenix in 2007. The Rangers selected Maloney in the second round (26th overall) of the 1978 NHL Entry Draft and he spent 11 seasons with New York. In 1980, he helped lead the Rangers to 1980 Stanley Cup Final.

  • Coyotes forward Lauri Korpikoski and backup goalie Jason LaBarbera were both drafted by the New York Rangers. Korpikoski (see PODCASTS below) was selected with the 19th overall pick in 2004 and LaBarbera was selected with the 66th overall pick in 1998.

  • Tonight's game will be broadcast on Fox Sports Arizona and on Money Radio 1510 (AM). A link to the radio broadcast will be provided at phoenixcoyotes.com at 6 p.m. For in-game updates via Twitter, follow @coyotesgameday.
Injuries
 

  Michael Rupp
  Michael Sauer
  Marc Staal
  Wojtek Wolski
  Rostislav Klesla

2011-2012 season series
DateScoreW. Goal
Jan 10 '12PHX 1 at NYR 2 - SOD. Stepan
Dec 17 '11NYR 3 at PHX 2B. Richards
PlayerGPGAP+/-PIMPPGW
M. Gaborik30171027+31452
B. Richards30121426-3434
R. Callahan30121123+03153
D. Stepan3071421+6822
A. Anisimov2961319+72621
M. Del Zotto3031316+151600
R. McDonagh3041014+71801
B. Dubinsky3011213+55500
D. Girardi303912+3411
R. Fedotenko304610-1810
B. Boyle30268+52901
C. Hagelin12336+7600
B. Prust30246-26600
J. Woywitka24145+2800
E. Christensen20145+0210
J. Mitchell12145+5000
S. Eminger30224+21800
S. Avery15303+22101
M. Sauer19123+92100
W. Wolski6022+0200
M. Rupp8101+01601
A. Deveaux9011+32900
A. Stralman7011+1200
T. Erixon9000-2600
K. Newbury6000+22400
M. Zuccarello3000+0200
B. Bell1000-1000
GoalieGPRec.GASAGAASv%
H. Lundqvist2312-7-4487062.07.932
M. Biron86-1-0131981.82.934
PlayerGPGAP+/-PIMPPGW
R. Whitney32101828+91020
R. Vrbata32151227+10823
S. Doan3281321-51632
K. Yandle3241620+02002
M. Hanzal3051318+72421
L. Korpikoski328614+3801
D. Langkow244913-11001
B. Gordon323912+8801
O. Ekman-Larsson326511-31211
M. Boedker325611-2601
D. Schlemko31189+7600
R. Torres32448+22400
T. Pyatt32448+11200
D. Morris30066-92200
R. Klesla25055+71300
A. Aucoin32134+52410
C. O'Reilly16134-4410
P. O'Sullivan17213-2000
K. Chipchura20033-31700
P. Bissonnette10101-11101
M. Rozsival6011+1200
P. Nokelainen5011-1000
K. Turris6000-2400
A. Miele5000-2400
C. Summers4000+1000
GoalieGPRec.GASAGAASv%
M. Smith2714-10-3668182.55.919
J. LaBarbera72-3-0161872.51.914
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