NHL Preview from The Sports Network|
Thursday, October 10th
(All times Eastern)
Phoenix Coyotes (1-2-0) at Detroit Red Wings (2-1-0), 7:30 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Phoenix Coyotes will try to turn things around on
their current five-game road trip when they visit the Detroit Red Wings for
Thursday's clash at Joe Louis Arena.
The Coyotes began the 2013-14 season with a 4-1 home win over the New York
Rangers, but have been blown out in consecutive road tests to begin their
swing. Phoenix was dealt a 4-1 loss Saturday in San Jose before getting ripped
6-1 by the New York Islanders on Tuesday, giving the Coyotes a goal
differential of minus-eight on the road this season.
John Tavares scored twice for the Islanders in Tuesday's lopsided win over the
Coyotes, who received their only goal on the night from Martin Hanzal.
"We have a lot of work to do as a group. How we're doing things right now is
unacceptable," said Coyotes head coach Dave Tippett.
Mike Smith, who took the loss in a 4-1 setback at San Jose on Saturday,
surrendered five goals on 20 shots and was pulled at the start of the third
period. Thomas Greiss made seven saves in relief.
Smith, who signed a six-year extension with Phoenix before the start of this
season, is just 1-2-0 with a 3.40 goals against average in three starts this
year. However, his head coach is not ready to place the brunt of the blame for
this season's slow start at the feet of his No. 1 goaltender.
"The goaltender bailed us out of an even worse situation the other night,"
Tippett said, referring to Smith's performance in the 4-1 loss to the Sharks.
"He didn't have his best night tonight. We had some bad breaks go against us,
but that being said, we didn't do enough to win a game, and that's what it's
The Coyotes, who were just 7-10-7 as the road team in 2013, have two more
games left on this trek after Thursday's test in the Motor City. Phoenix will
visit Philadelphia on Friday before capping the swing Sunday at Carolina.
The Red Wings will try to bounce back from their first loss of the season on
Thursday and they figure to have a good chance at doing so considering
Phoenix's recent history in Detroit. The Coyotes have lost four straight and
11 of their last 13 games at Joe Louis Arena and the Wings have taken two of
three overall in this series.
Detroit began its season with consecutive wins before running into the Boston
Bruins on Saturday. Boston forward Brad Marchand scored less than a minute
into the second to spark a string of three unanswered goals, as the host
Bruins rallied to a 4-1 victory over the Red Wings at TD Garden.
Henrik Zetterberg scored the lone Detroit marker, while Jimmy Howard allowed
all four goals on 37 shots for the Red Wings.
On the injury front, the Coyotes could be without defenseman Derek Morris for
a second straight game after he suffered an upper-body injury in the loss to
the Sharks. Meanwhile, Phoenix enforcer Paul Bissonnette is eligible to play
tonight after serving a three-game suspension for an incident in the
10/10 10:47:46 ET