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Surging Coyotes End Trip at Hurricanes

Sunday, 10.13.2013 / 9:36 AM | Dave Vest

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Surging Coyotes End Trip at Hurricanes
Phoenix Coyotes vs. Carolina Hurricanes

COYOTES (3-2-0) at HURRICANES (2-1-2)

Season series: The Phoenix Coyotes and Carolina Hurricanes are meeting for the first time since Dec. 21, 2011, a game the Coyotes won 4-3.

Phoenix has won two in a row and four of its past five games at Carolina. They will face off one more time this season in Glendale on Dec. 14.

Big story: Both clubs have already seen highs and lows early in the 2013-14 season. Phoenix started off their current season-long five-game road trip with a 4-1 loss in San Jose against the Sharks and a 6-1 dismantling at the hands of the New York Islanders. But they've rolled off consecutive wins since then and are looking to finish their trip on a high note. Carolina has alternated wins and losses through its first five games, including a 2-1 shootout loss to the Los Angeles Kings on Friday night.

Team Scope:

Coyotes: After losing consecutive games by a combined score of 10-2, the Coyotes' season appeared to be headed for a rocky start before the team swept back-to-back road games against the Detroit Red Wings on Thursday and the Philadelphia Flyers on Friday.

They did it the way the Coyotes have always won under Head Coach Dave Tippett: with timely scoring, airtight defense and strong goaltending. That was certainly the case in Philadelphia on Friday night, as Oliver Ekman-Larsson scored a highlight-reel goal with 12 seconds remaining in the second period and Thomas Greiss made 36 saves, including 10 in the third period, in his first start of the season.

Tippett will coach in his 300th game with the Coyotes against the Hurricanes. Now in his fifth season behind the Phoenix bench, Tippett will become just the third coach in franchise history to reach the 300-game mark with the team.

Mike Smith is expected to be back in goal for the Coyotes against Carolina.

Center Martin Hanzal leads the team in scoring with five points (one goal, four assists) through five games this season. He is currently riding a three-game point streak and ranks first on the team with 18 hits.

The Coyotes are 3-0-0 this season when scoring the first goal of the game and 117-13-19 under Tippett in such games.

With the exception of a 5-2 loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins on Tuesday, the Hurricanes have played teams close every game so far this season. Both their victories were by a single goal and their other two contests were a 3-2 overtime loss to the Red Wings on opening night and a 2-1 shootout loss to the Kings on Friday. Even the game against Pittsburgh was tied 2-2 after Nathan Gerbe scored early in the third period before the Penguins scored three straight.

This meeting against the Coyotes should be another closely-contested affair. The Hurricanes will need to find a way to score against a Phoenix team that has allowed 10 goals in their two losses -- and four goals in their three wins.

"I thought it was a really gutsy effort for our guys," Hurricanes coach Kirk Muller said after the game against L.A. "I think that's a game that shows our team is growing together. We didn't get the extra point, but three out of four is pretty good."

Who's hot: Coyotes center Martin Hanzal is on a three-game point streak and leads the team with five points in five games. Defenseman Derek Morris has three points in his past two games. … Jeff Skinner has three points in his past two games and leads Carolina with six points in five games. Gerbe is enjoying a three-game point streak in which he has two goals.

Injury report: Phoenix has no injured players. … Center Elias Lindholm left the game against L.A. and is questionable for the Hurricanes while defensemen Tim Gleason (concussion) and Joni Pitkanen (broken heel) are out.

2013-2014 season series
DateScoreW. Goal
Dec 14 '13 CAR 3 at PHX 1 J. Skinner
Oct 13 '13 PHX 5 at CAR 3 R. Klinkhammer
R. Vrbata6325-1211
D. Morris5235+2000
M. Hanzal6145-21500
M. Boedker6224+1210
R. Klinkhammer6213+4201
O. Ekman-Larsson6213+1411
A. Vermette6123+4600
M. Ribeiro6033-2400
S. Doan6112+1410
Z. Michalek6022+2400
P. Bissonnette3022+2500
T. Kennedy3022+2000
K. Chipchura6101-1600
L. Korpikoski6101-1400
M. Stone4101+0001
K. Yandle6011+2200
D. Moss6011-1200
D. Schlemko4011+0600
C. Brown3000+01700
D. Rundblad3000-2200
L. Lessio3000-2200
R. Klesla2000-1400
M. Smith53-2-0141583.01.911
T. Greiss21-0-02451.50.956
J. Skinner6257+4420
N. Gerbe6325+0411
J. Faulk6044+0200
E. Staal6213-5600
J. Harrison6123+21500
A. Sekera6033+0400
R. Murphy5033+1000
R. Dvorak6202+3201
A. Semin6101-4610
R. Nash5101+4000
E. Lindholm5101-1000
J. Staal6011-1600
P. Dwyer6011-2200
D. Bowman6000-1200
J. Tlusty6000-3000
B. Sutter6000-4200
R. Hainsey6000-5000
B. Bellemore6000-5000
M. Komisarek1000+0000
K. Westgarth1000+0000
T. Ruutu1000-1200
A. Khudobin32-0-05702.00.929
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