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New York
Islanders
34-37-11
Phoenix
Coyotes
42-27-13

32 SOG
25 SOG
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PHX
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Friday, 01.06.2012 / 11:12 PM

The Skinny
 
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By Dave Vest
GLENDALE -- The Coyotes will look to snap a two-game losing streak tonight when they host the New York Islanders at Jobing.com Arena. The puck drops at 6 p.m. (Arizona time).

Phoenix (19-17-5) last played on Thursday and lost, 1-0 in overtime, to the Los Angeles Kings. That followed a 4-1 defeat at St. Louis on Tuesday.


Goalie Mike Smith, who stopped 27 shots in the game vs. LA, will be back in goal for the Coyotes, who have lost six of their past seven games (1-4-2). Smith has won both of his career games against the Islanders, stopping 66 of 68 shots in those games.

The Coyotes are just 1-4-1 in their last six games at home, and have scored two goals or fewer in five of those games.

“We know our home record is unacceptable and we're looking to turn that around and it all starts (Saturday),” center Kyle Chipchura said.

The Coyotes will play minus defenseman Adrian Aucoin, who is nursing an injury suffered in Thursday’s game.
Aucoin was struck by a puck above the right eye and the swelling is limiting his vision. Derek Morris, who has been a healthy scratch the past few weeks, is expected to replace Aucoin. Meanwhile, Phoenix also will play minus centers Martin Hanzal (upper-body injury) and Boyd Gordon (lower-body injury). Both are on the injured-reserve list but both recently have started skating.

Photo by Getty Images.
On the plus side, Coyotes forward Raffi Torres will be back in the lineup  after serving two-game suspension handed down by the NHL after a hit on Minnesota's Nate Prosser in a game played on New Year's Eve.

The Islanders (14-18-6) will enter the game less than 24 hours after losing, 4-2, to the Anaheim Ducks at the Honda Center. Kyle Okposo and Matt Martin scored for New York, which led 2-1 after two periods.

“We did a good job for two periods, frustrating them and kind of letting them sleep,” Martin told reporters. “But then we gave them too much time and space (with the puck) in the third period and kind of let them build momentum for themselves.”

New York ranks 29th in the NHL in goals scored with 90. Only the LA Kings have lit the lamp less (88).

Goalie Evgeni Nabokov is likely to start his eighth straight game. Nabokov is 13-2-2 with a 1.74 goals-against average and five shutouts in his last 19 starts - all with San Jose - against the Coyotes.

The Islanders are dead last in the Eastern Conference standings despite having won three of their past four games and also despite having the League’s seventh-best power-play unit (19.4 percent).


Who's Hot
 
Vrbata
Coyotes right wing Radim Vrbata is averaging a goal per game in his last three games, and leads the Coyotes with 19, matching his output for all of last season.
Tavares
Islanders center John Tavares has notched at least one point in four straight games and has two goals and six assists in that stretch..
Did You Know?
 
  • Coyotes captain Shane Doan has gone six games without a point, matching his longest drought of the season. In his last six games against New York, Doan has notched three goals and five assists.

  • The New York Islanders drafted Coyotes forwards Taylor Pyatt (eight overall in 1999) and Raffi Torres (fifth overall in 2000).

  • Today's game will be broadcast on Fox Sports Arizona and Money Radio 1510 AM at 6 p.m. For in-game updates via Twitter, follow @coyotesgameday.
Injuries
 

  Rick DiPietro
  Al Montoya
  Mike Mottau
  Jay Pandolfo
  Marty Reasoner
  David Ullstrom
  Adrian Aucoin
  Boyd Gordon
  Martin Hanzal

2011-2012 season series
DateScoreW. Goal
Jan 07 '12NYI 1 at PHX 5S. Doan
PlayerGPGAP+/-PIMPPGW
J. Tavares39132336-91452
M. Moulson39181533+2664
P. Parenteau3972633-83531
F. Nielsen3971320-5231
M. Streit3921719-172610
M. Grabner3810717-141011
K. Okposo368917-171020
J. Bailey393811-101410
T. Hamonic391910-84700
M. Martin39549-106001
B. Rolston32448-9401
M. Jurcina30235-171420
M. Reasoner35055-161800
S. Staios32055-113700
A. MacDonald32314-91210
D. Ullstrom14224+1000
D. Reese9112-3400
M. Mottau28022-91500
M. Eaton24022-5400
J. Pandolfo22101-6400
N. Niederreiter16101-10400
T. Wallace15011-1600
B. Comeau16000-11600
M. Haley7000+02800
T. Gillies3000-1000
C. de Haan1000+1000
GoalieGPRec.GASAGAASv%
A. Montoya176-5-3394702.46.917
E. Nabokov175-10-0414442.77.908
R. DiPietro83-2-3221773.73.876
A. Nilsson20-1-08534.85.849
K. Poulin10-1-03293.05.897
PlayerGPGAP+/-PIMPPGW
R. Whitney42142236+112040
R. Vrbata42191433+111045
S. Doan42121325-92033
K. Yandle4252025+32802
M. Hanzal3351419+62821
L. Korpikoski429918+11002
D. Langkow3461218-51211
O. Ekman-Larsson4271017-51411
M. Boedker427815+1601
B. Gordon353912+71001
R. Torres406511+13300
T. Pyatt425611+21200
D. Schlemko4111011+71000
R. Klesla35178+41500
D. Morris36077-102600
K. Chipchura30077+21700
C. O'Reilly26246-6410
D. Rundblad25145-12600
P. O'Sullivan23224-4200
A. Aucoin36134+22410
M. Rozsival15022+4800
P. Bissonnette15101-11101
P. Nokelainen5011-1000
M. Pouliot3011+0200
A. Miele7000-3600
K. Turris6000-2400
C. Summers4000+1000
GoalieGPRec.GASAGAASv%
M. Smith3116-11-4729282.43.922
J. LaBarbera133-6-1313432.71.910
C. McElhinney21-0-02361.67.944
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