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Coyotes Return Home, Seek Fourth Straight Win

Tuesday, 10.15.2013 / 1:12 PM | Dave Vest

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Coyotes Return Home, Seek Fourth Straight Win
Ottawa Senators vs. Phoenix Coyotes

SENATORS (1-2-2) at COYOTES (4-2-0)

Season series: First of two meetings this season between the Ottawa Senators and Phoenix Coyotes. In their last matchup, back on Jan. 24, 2012, Mike Smith made 32 saves and Radim Vrbata had the decisive goal as the Coyotes won 3-2 at Arena.

Big story: A season-opening six game road trip comes to an end Tuesday for the Senators, who likely can't wait to see the friendly confines of Canadian Tire Centre after losing four of their first five. Even still, a win against the Coyotes would allow them to capture six of a possible 12 points on this journey.

Team Scope:

Coyotes: This is the first game back at Arena for Phoenix since its season opener on Oct. 3.

The Coyotes return home after their own lengthy road trip which saw them drop the first two and then recover to win three in a row, culminating with a 5-3 win Sunday afternoon over the Carolina Hurricanes.

“Their top-end players are high, high skill,” Head Coach Dave Tippett said about the Senators. “You’ve got Spezza, Ryan, Karlsson — all high, high skill. If you give people like that enough time and space, they’ll hurt you."

He added, “We’re going to have an angry opponent that’s going to come in very motivated. We's better come in ready to put the work boots on and play the way we need to.”

Mike Smith will start in goal for the Coyotes as they put their three-game winning streak on the line. Smith is 4-3-0 with a .906 save percentage and a 2.81 goals-against average in seven career games vs. Ottawa.

Newcomer Jeff Halpern, whom the Coyotes signed on Saturday, practiced with the team for the first time on Monday and could make his debut in this game.

“He’s a player very similar to Boyd Gordon,” Tippett said. “Just a strong face-off guy, right-handed centerman, good character, guts-of-the-game guy.”

Captain Shane Doan will enter the game tied with Thomas Steen for second place on the team's all-time points list with 817. Dale Hawerchuk tops that list with 929 points. Per the Elias Sports Bureau, Doan is just the sixth player in the NHL’s expansion era (since 1967-68) to score a goal for the same team in each of 18 consecutive seasons.

“It’s nice to be back (home),” Doan said. “We’ve got to make sure we come out ready to go and have that energy that we played with the last three.”

Senators: If not for some stellar goaltending by Robin Lehner, a tough weekend for Ottawa could have been downright ugly. Lehner stopped 47 of 50 shots in a 3-2 loss Saturday to the San Jose Sharks and 45 of 47 after coming on early in relief of Craig Anderson in a 4-1 loss Sunday to the Anaheim Ducks.

The Senators allowed 56 total shots Sunday, a franchise record, and the lone bright spot was Bobby Ryan scoring in his return against the team that traded him in the offseason.

"It felt good," Ryan said. "I've played here a long time, scored a lot of goals here. They all feel the same in this building, but this one meant a little more. I just wish I could have five more."

Who's hot: Coyotes defenseman Derek Morris has two goals and two assists during a three-game point streak... Ryan has goals in three straight for the Senators and a four-game point streak overall (3-2-5).

Injury report:
Neither team has any significant injuries to report heading into Tuesday's game.
2013-2014 season series
DateScoreW. Goal
Dec 21 '13 PHX 4 at OTT 3 - OT A. Vermette
Oct 15 '13 OTT 4 at PHX 3 - OT C. Conacher
J. Spezza5415-1610
B. Ryan6325-1420
K. Turris6145+1800
M. Michalek6134-1200
P. Wiercioch6044+3200
E. Karlsson6123-4201
C. Greening6033+1200
J. Corvo3033+2000
C. Conacher6202+4201
J. Cowen6112+1400
C. MacArthur6022+2400
C. Phillips6022+0200
J. Pageau6101-1200
Z. Smith6101-2800
M. Methot6011-2600
E. Condra6011-2000
C. Neil6000-21300
S. Da Costa4000+1200
M. Kassian3000+1000
E. Gryba3000+0000
C. Anderson52-1-2131553.10.916
R. Lehner20-1-05972.63.948
R. Vrbata7426+0211
M. Hanzal7156-21500
M. Boedker7235+0410
D. Morris5235+2000
A. Vermette7145+4600
R. Klinkhammer7314+4201
O. Ekman-Larsson7224+3411
M. Ribeiro7134-2410
S. Doan7112+1410
Z. Michalek7022+4400
P. Bissonnette4022+2500
T. Kennedy3022+2000
K. Chipchura7101-1600
L. Korpikoski7101-2400
M. Stone5101-1001
K. Yandle7011+0200
D. Moss7011-2200
D. Schlemko5011-2600
C. Brown3000+01700
R. Klesla3000-2400
D. Rundblad3000-2200
L. Lessio3000-2200
J. Halpern1000+0000
M. Smith63-2-1181903.17.905
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