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Coyotes Seek Key Points in Matinee

Saturday, 12.21.2013 / 8:17 AM | Dave Vest

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Coyotes Seek Key Points in Matinee
Phoenix Coyotes vs. Ottawa Senators

COYOTES (18-10-6) at SENATORS (14-17-6)

Season series: This is the final game between the Ottawa Senators and Phoenix Coyotes this season. Jason Spezza had a natural hat trick and Cory Conacher's overtime goal gave the Senators a 4-3 win on Oct. 15 in Glendale.

Big story: Phoenix looks to end a three-game losing streak in which it has scored just three goals. Ottawa is having problems keeping the puck out of the net, allowing four or more goals in three of its past four games.

Team Scope:

Coyotes: Phoenix had 35 shots but only one got past Toronto Maple Leafs goalie James Reimer Thursday night. The Coyotes lost 2-1 in a shootout and are winless in three games.

"We can definitely take some good things out of that game. We did a lot of good things in the third period to give ourselves a chance to get a point," goalie Mike Smith said.

The Coyotes are 0-1-1 on a four-game road trip that finishes with a visit to the Buffalo Sabres on Monday night.

"We have an opportunity here, if we get two good games, we could be looking at a good road trip," said Coyotes center Antoine Vermette, who played the first 359 games of his NHL career for Ottawa.

The Coyotes, like the Senators, are 4-4-2 in their past 10 games.

"They're kind of in the same boat," Coyotes defenseman Derek Morris said. "They're kind of struggling a little bit like us. We're going to have to do a real good job, be real tight defensively, and hopefully try to create some chances down low. I feel our team is at our best when our forwards go low and work a cycle down low and find ways to get it to the point. We're going to have to do things that they're going to try to do to us."

Phoenix will again play minus captain Shane Doan, who is receiving antibiotics for Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever symptoms and not with the team.

"He’s still our leading goal scorer and we’ve scored only three goals in the last three games," General Manager Don Maloney said. "So, there you go. With Shane, he can play the inside heavy game, and what I’ve found lately is that the majority of chances we’re getting are from the outside. To me that’s where we miss him more than anything on the ice."

Forward Lauri Korpikoski, who has been sidelined since Nov. 16 because of an upper-body injury, is expected to return to the lineup for this game.

Senators: Ottawa suffered a 4-2 loss against the Panthers on Thursday after failing to hold a 2-1 lead. The Panthers got two third-period goals in the final 2:32, one a power-play goal and the other shorthanded, for the victory.

"At the end of the day, it's a tie game going into the third. We take a penalty and they did a god job [scoring]," Head Coach Paul MacLean said.

After Tom Gilbert's power-play goal gave the Panthers a 3-2 lead, the Senators had a chance to tie it on the power play, but Tomas Kopecky's shorthanded goal with 1:41 left put the game out of reach

"We have to find a way to get out of [the slump] … teams know that we are a reeling team right now and that we're fragile and if we continue to play fragile, teams are going to take advantage of us," Spezza said.

The Senators have dropped six of nine and have not won back-to-back games since Nov. 7-9.

Who's hot: Despite being winless in three starts, Smith has allowed a total of five goals and has a .941 save percentage in those games for the Coyotes. ... Defenseman Erik Karlsson has a four-game point streak for the Senators.

Injury report: Doan (illness) and defenseman Zbynek Michalek (lower body) are on injured reserve for the Coyotes. ... Senators forward Mika Zibanejad left the game Thursday with an upper-body injury.

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
R. Vrbata33101727-31442
M. Ribeiro3591726-41822
M. Boedker35101424+11220
M. Hanzal3291524-24321
S. Doan27121123+1862
A. Vermette35121022+61831
K. Yandle3541822-62620
O. Ekman-Larsson3541721+72823
R. Klinkhammer357714+14801
D. Morris2341014+51200
D. Moss353912+3800
M. Stone29718-41621
L. Korpikoski19448+11200
K. Chipchura35257-52500
P. Bissonnette21156+41100
T. Kennedy20156+2200
D. Schlemko25145-3800
J. Halpern23134-71000
R. Klesla17134-11000
C. Murphy12134+3801
Z. Michalek24044+101000
J. Szwarz19202-61901
A. Miele4022+2500
D. Rundblad10011-3400
C. Brown5000+01700
L. Lessio3000-2200
B. Yip2000+0000
G. Brule2000-1200
M. Smith3015-8-6849682.87.913
T. Greiss84-2-0141882.20.926
E. Karlsson3892534-101821
B. Ryan38161733+91451
J. Spezza37111829-132241
K. Turris3882028+131730
C. MacArthur37111526+114042
M. Michalek3861117-211420
M. Zibanejad298715-8620
P. Wiercioch2721113+1820
C. Phillips3711011-11610
Z. Smith386410-45303
M. Methot333710-61201
J. Corvo21369-4600
C. Conacher36268+41801
C. Greening38347-52421
E. Condra32347-21200
C. Neil38516-49700
J. Cowen35336+02201
E. Gryba18134+62300
J. Pageau14202-5600
D. Grant20022-3400
M. Borowiecki13101-24800
C. Ceci6101-1001
M. Kassian16000-11700
S. Da Costa4000+1200
M. Hoffman3000-2200
C. Anderson249-9-4757303.42.897
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