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Coyotes-Oilers Preview

Saturday, 03.17.2012 / 11:17 PM
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Coyotes-Oilers Preview
Phoenix Coyotes vs. Edmonton Oilers

The Skinny
 
By Dave Vest
The Coyotes will look to get back into the Western Conference playoff mix today when they play the Edmonton Oilers at Rexall Place. The puck drops at 5 p.m. (Arizona time).

Phoenix (35-26-11) will enter the game in 10th place in the conference standings but just one point behind eighth-place San Jose and two points behind Pacific Division leading Dallas. Both San Jose and Dallas are idle today.

► Click here to see the latest standings.

The Coyotes are 3-0-0 vs. the Oilers this season and have outscored them 11-5 in those games. They will be seeking a sweep of the season series today, and their fifth straight win over Edmonton overall.

Phoenix has posted a 2-5-2 record in March, including a humbling 4-1 loss to Calgary on Thursday night. The Coyotes are 1-1-0 halfway through a crucial four-game trip that ends Tuesday night at Dallas.

Goalie Mike Smith, who will start tonight, has posted a 1.67 goals-against average in three victories over the Oilers this season.

Points leader Ray Whitney, an Edmonton-area native who has five assists in the last three games, leads the team with five points versus the Oilers this season.

Photo by Getty Images
Leading goal scorer Radim Vrbata, who has missed the past two games because of illness, and center Martin Hanzal, who hasn't played since March 8 because of an upper-body injury, will be back in the lineup for this game.

Edmonton (28-36-7) will enter the game trying to win three consecutive games for the first time since Jan. 31-Feb. 4.

The Oilers are in 14th place in the conference standings and looking to play spoiler over their last 11 games.

Edmonton ranks third in the NHL in power-play efficiency at 21. 2 percent. Only the Winnipeg Jets have scored more power-play goals on home ice; Jets have 30, Oilers have 29.

Goalie Devan Dubnyk is 0-3-0 vs. Phoenix this season with a 3.42 goals-against average in those games.

Oilers defenseman Ladislav Smid ranks first on the team and fourth in the NHL with 168 blocked shots.


Who's Hot
 
Ekman-Larsson
Coyotes defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson has notched a goal in three consecutive games and ranks tied for fifth in the NHL among defensemen with 11 goals.
Eberle
Oilers right wing Jordan Eberle has notched a goal and five assists in the past four games, and ranks ninth in the NHL with 31 goals.
Did You Know?
 
  • Coyotes Head Coach Dave Tippett is one victory shy of 400 for his NHL head coaching career.

  • The Coyotes/Jets franchise has never swept a season series from the Oilers. The only time it came out of a season series with no losses vs. Edmotnon was in 2000-01 when it won two and tied two.

  • Tonight's game will be broadcast on FOX Sports Arizona Plus and on Money Radio 1510 AM at 5 p.m. For in-game updates via Twitter, follow @coyotesgameday.

2011-2012 season series
DateScoreW. Goal
Mar 18 '12PHX 3 at EDM 2 - SOR. Whitney
Feb 25 '12PHX 3 at EDM 1R. Whitney
Dec 15 '11EDM 2 at PHX 4S. Doan
Nov 05 '11EDM 2 at PHX 4B. Gordon
PlayerGPGAP+/-PIMPPGW
R. Whitney73224567+242661
R. Vrbata71302656+2322710
S. Doan73212445-104155
K. Yandle73103141+64902
L. Korpikoski73151833+11203
A. Vermette73102333-162034
M. Hanzal5582331+125132
O. Ekman-Larsson73111829-32621
D. Langkow6491524-71411
R. Torres7014822-25010
M. Boedker7391120-31202
B. Gordon6671320+51001
T. Pyatt707916-72100
K. Chipchura4721315+54000
R. Klesla5631013+72700
D. Schlemko4411011+61000
G. Brule244610+2210
A. Aucoin61279+124010
D. Morris50189-112600
M. Rozsival45189+42200
D. Rundblad30167-12600
C. O'Reilly27246-7410
P. O'Sullivan23224-4200
M. Pouliot13044-2200
M. Stone9123+2000
C. Summers21033-41100
P. Bissonnette27101-34101
P. Nokelainen5011-1000
A. Miele7000-3600
K. Turris6000-2400
M. Watkins1000-1000
GoalieGPRec.GASAGAASv%
M. Smith5932-18-813417682.36.924
J. LaBarbera183-8-3394572.45.915
C. McElhinney21-0-02361.67.944
PlayerGPGAP+/-PIMPPGW
J. Eberle68323870+6894
T. Hall61272653-336137
R. Nugent-Hopkins52182745-1832
R. Smyth72192544-37044
S. Gagner65152742+43250
S. Horcoff72132134-211850
A. Hemsky5962430-173511
R. Jones69141327-43821
C. Potter5541620-171810
J. Petry6521820-82210
T. Gilbert4731417-41221
R. Whitney4131215-171220
E. Belanger6931114-132810
L. Smid723912+14200
B. Eager547411-39202
A. Sutton453710+77001
L. Petrell54459-84500
M. Paajarvi41268-7400
N. Schultz72167-73610
A. Lander56246-81200
T. Peckham51123-28000
C. Barker21202-11811
L. Omark11202-4400
J. Green7112-6710
D. Hordichuk34022-44500
C. Teubert20011-41800
R. O'Marra7011+0400
T. Hartikainen7011-2000
A. Plante3011+0200
P. Cornet2011+0000
T. Chorney5000-1000
M. Kytnar1000+0000
GoalieGPRec.GASAGAASv%
D. Dubnyk3916-17-29911232.74.912
N. Khabibulin3812-19-69410612.64.911
Y. Danis10-0-02123.75.833
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