By Dave Vest
The Coyotes will play their final game before the NHL All-Star break tonight when they host the Ottawa Senators at Jobing.com Arena. The puck drops at 7 p.m. (Arizona time).
Phoenix (21-20-8) will enter the game looking to snap a three-game losing streak (0-2-1) and to head into a week-long hiatus on a high note.
“This is one where you know there's nothing to save it for,” Coyotes Head Coach Dave Tippett said. “You've got to go out and put everything into it, and see if we can get a win.”
will start in goal looking to rebound from a lackluster performance against Tampa Bay on Saturday in which he allowed four goals on 21 shots.
The Coyotes will be looking for leading goal-scorer Radim Vrbata
to snap out of a mini- slump. Vrbata has taken 15 shots on goal in the past four games but has netted zero goals.
Defenseman Adrian Aucoin
, who has missed the past four games because of a lower-body injury, will play tonight. So will center Daymond Langkopw (upper-body injury). Defenseman Derek Morris
(lower-body injury) will not play.
The Senators (27-18-6) will enter the game less than 24 hours after playing Los Angeles at the Staples Center. The Kings won 4-1.
The loss was the second in a row for Ottawa, which has played well since Christmas (10-4-1).
Center Jason Spezza is leading the Senators with 50 points in 51 games. Spezza was hit in the head by an errant puck during pregame warm-ups on Monday but played in the game.
|Photo by Getty Images.
Head Coach Paul MacLean pulled starting goalie Craig Anderson after two periods Monday after he allowed four goals in his 13th consecutive start. It is unclear if Anderson will start tonight’s game or if the Senators will go with backup Alex Auld, a former Coyotes goalie.
Senators center Kyle Turris will play his first game against the team that selected him third overall in the 2007 NHL Entry Draft. The Coyotes, of course, traded Turris to Ottawa on Dec. 17 for defenseman David Rundblad and a second-round draft pick after Turris declined to re-sign with Phoenix and sat out nearly two months of the season.
Turris has notched four goals and nine assists in 18 games with Ottawa since the trade.
"It'll be weird walking into the visiting room, it will be weird lining up on the other side of the ice, and all that," Turris told the Ottawa Citizen. "And there might be some boos thrown in there. But it's something I'm looking forward to."