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Coyotes Will Try to Cool Off Ducks

Friday, 10.18.2013 / 4:00 PM

NHL.com | Dave Vest




COYOTES (4-2-1) at DUCKS (5-1-0)

Season series: This is the first of five meetings between the Pacific Division rivals.

The Phoenix Coyotes and Anaheim Ducks met four times last season, including three games in a five-day span, with the Coyotes winning three of the four games.

Big story: The Coyotes are looking to extend their road winning streak to four games. Meanwhile, the Ducks are looking for their sixth straight win as they continue a five-game homestand.

Team Scope:

Coyotes: Despite blowing a two-goal lead in a 4-3 overtime loss to the Senators on Tuesday, the Coyotes have gained points in four straight games.

Phoenix is kicking off its second back-to-back set tonight. Last week, the Coyotes won both games of a back-to-back set at Detroit and then Philadelphia. Phoenix later beat Carolina to finish a week-long trip with three straight wins.

"They play well as a group," Head Coach Dave Tippett said about the Ducks. "Their top players - (Ryan) Getzlaf, (Corey) Perry - can have a big influence on the game... They're finding ways to win hockey games."

He added, "Hopefully we can have the same success that we finished the last trip with."

Mike Smith will start in goal. Smith owns an 8-3-1 record with a .903 save percentage and a 2.73 goals-against average in 13 career games vs. the Ducks.

Forward Radim Vrbata, who is one goal shy of 200 for his NHL career, has notched six goals and nine assists in his last 11 games vs. Anaheim. Three of those goals and one of the assists came the last time these teams played on April 27, 2013. In 39 career games against the Ducks, Vrbata has notched 30 points (12 goals, 18 assists), which is his highest career point total against any Pacific Division opponent.

Center Mike Ribeiro enters the game with a four-game point streak after scoring his first goal of the season vs. Ottawa on Tuesday and collecting an assist in each of the team's three consecutive road victories prior to Tuesday's game.

The Coyotes took Wednesday off and Tippett said, based on Thursday's practice, it served the team well.

“I think the day off did everyone a lot of good,” Tippett said. “That was five games in eight days or whatever it was. You’re pushing hard. It’s not as if we didn’t have a game that was mentally taxing. It was tight games, and you’re battling to find ways to win. (It was) a good day off for everybody, but you could see the energy was better out there (on Thursday).”

Ducks: Viktor Fasth was the big star, turning aside 34 of 35 shots as the Ducks held off the Calgary Flames 3-2 on Wednesday. The game-winner was scored by Teemu Selanne, who scored his first goal of the season and the 676th of his career. But he felt the Ducks did not play their best game.

"Sometimes you got to be lucky. But to be honest, that was not a very good hockey game from us," he said. "It was good that we won. A lot of times, like last year, we won the games when we didn't play really well. But, we just found a way to win again. That's a good thing. But it was not pretty out there, especially the third period. Viktor stole the points for us."

Fasth made 16 saves in the third period and came up huge as the Ducks escaped with two points.

"I was little shaky in the first 20 [minutes], I think. It was hard to read bounces. But I felt better the longer the game went and the guys really helped out there today. It was really good to get that win," Fasth said.

Who's hot: Rob Klinkhammer has three goals in his past two games for the Coyotes. … Dustin Penner, who had two goals for Anaheim all last season, has matched that total with goals in each of the past two games.

Injury report: Coyotes defenseman Derek Morris, who ranks eighth among NHL defensemen in scoring, is questionable because of a lower-body injury. ... Defensemen Luca Sbisa (left ankle) and Sheldon Souray (wrist) along with wing Matt Beleskey (upper body) are all on injured reserve for the Ducks.

2013-2014 season series
DateScoreW. Goal
Jan 11 '14ANA 5 at PHX 3R. Getzlaf
Dec 28 '13PHX 2 at ANA 3 - OTS. Koivu
Nov 23 '13ANA 4 at PHX 2C. Perry
Nov 06 '13PHX 2 at ANA 5C. Perry
Oct 18 '13PHX 2 at ANA 3 - SOJ. Silfverberg
PlayerGPGAP+/-PIMPPGW
M. Hanzal8167-11500
R. Vrbata8426-1211
A. Vermette8246+5800
M. Boedker8235-1410
D. Morris6235+1000
M. Ribeiro8145-1410
R. Klinkhammer8314+5201
O. Ekman-Larsson8224+2411
S. Doan8123+1410
Z. Michalek8022+4400
K. Yandle8022+0600
P. Bissonnette5022+2500
T. Kennedy3022+2000
K. Chipchura8101-2600
L. Korpikoski8101-2600
M. Stone5101-1001
R. Klesla4101-1600
D. Moss8011-1200
D. Schlemko6011-1600
C. Brown3000+01700
D. Rundblad3000-2200
L. Lessio3000-2200
J. Halpern2000-2000
GoalieGPRec.GASAGAASv%
M. Smith73-2-2202292.96.913
T. Greiss21-0-02451.50.956
PlayerGPGAP+/-PIMPPGW
M. Perreault7257+3001
J. Silfverberg7426+4600
C. Perry7336+4401
R. Getzlaf7235+3902
T. Selanne6235+2001
N. Bonino7314+4210
D. Penner5224+7000
S. Koivu7213+0000
A. Cogliano7123+1400
D. Winnik7123+0600
F. Beauchemin7022+9400
B. Allen7022+41100
H. Lindholm5022+9200
K. Palmieri6101+1400
S. Vatanen7011+2400
B. Lovejoy7011+0200
C. Fowler7011-3000
P. Maroon5011+21000
M. Fistric2011+1400
E. Etem4000+2000
M. Beleskey2000-1900
GoalieGPRec.GASAGAASv%
J. Hiller44-0-061301.45.954
V. Fasth32-1-010813.33.877
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