By Dave Vest
The Coyotes will try to snap a five-game road winless streak (0-2-3) tonight when they play the Anaheim Ducks at the Honda Center. The puck drops at 8 p.m. (Arizona time).
Phoenix (21-18-7) will enter the game fresh off posting a season-high six goals in a 6-1 win over Colorado on Monday afternoon.
"That was a game as a group that you enjoy, just because we don't usually have those games,” Coyotes caoptain Shane Doan said. “We don't usually make it easy on ourselves.”
Mike Smith, who made 38 saves in Monday’s win, is expected to be in goal against the Ducks. Smith is 5-1-1 with a 2.29 goals-against average in seven starts versus Anaheim, including two wins earlier this season.
The Coyotes will be looking for forward Radim Vrbata to continue his recent hot streak. Vrbata has notched six goals and nine points in the past eight games.
"This last little stretch here could be the best I've ever seen 'Vrby' play," Coyotes Head Coach Dave Tippett said on Tuesday. "He has elevated his game now... He’s confident with the puck and he wants the puck. He’s giving himself so many opportunities to score. When you have the puck that much, you’re not just standing around waiting for it to come to you. You go get it or you get in positions to get it."
Photo by Getty Images.
Anaheim (15-22-7) is riding a six-game hot streak (5-0-1) that has revived the team’s hopes for making a run at the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
The Ducks have allowed only 11 goals during their point streak including just two vs. Vancouver the last time they played on Sunday.
“We go out there now and we know we can beat (anyone)," goalie Jonas Hiller told the team’s Web site. "You can feel it out there. Something has changed."
Hiller is 7-2-1 with a 2.28 goals-against average at home against the Coyotes.
Forward Corey Perry also fares well vs. Phoenix: he has notched five goals and four assists in a six-game point streak against the Coyotes.
Coyotes captain Shane Doan has scored five of his 14 goals in the past five games, including two in Monday's 6-1 win over Colorado.
Ducks left wing Jason Blake, who took 10 shots on goal vs. Vancouver on Sunday, has notched four points in his past two games.
The Coyotes have won 12 road games this season. The only team in the Western Conference that has won more times away from home ice is the Vancouver Canucks (16).
Coyotes forward Mikkel Boedker scored his first NHL goal at the Honda Center on Oct. 12, 2008.
Tonight's game will be broadcast on Fox Sports Arizona Plus and XTRA Sports 910 AM at 8 p.m. For in-game updates via Twitter, follow @coyotesgameday.