NHL Preview from The Sports Network|
Wednesday, November 6th
(All times Eastern)
Phoenix Coyotes (11-3-2) at Anaheim Ducks (12-3-1), 10 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - Following a successful road trip, the Anaheim Ducks put
their perfect home record on the line Wednesday night as they take on the
Phoenix Coyotes in a matchup of streaking clubs.
The Ducks wrapped an eight-game swing with Monday's 2-1 victory over the New
York Rangers, getting 32 saves from backup netminder Frederik Andersen. The
rookie is 4-0-0 with a 1.36 goals against average across his first four NHL
appearances, including three starts.
Corey Perry and Kyle Palmieri scored for the Ducks, who went 5-2-1 on their
"We dug deep for this one. It's always probably the toughest one, the last one
of a long road trip before you get to go home. This one feels good," said
The Ducks lead the Pacific Division with 25 points, one more than both San
Jose and Phoenix, thanks in part to their perfect 5-0-0 record at home, where
they haven't played since a win over Dallas on Oct. 20. That was the last of a
seven-game winning streak as Anaheim lost the first two on its road trip.
Still, the Ducks have outscored their opponents 21-8 at home this season and
are on their longest winning streak as the hosting club since a club-record
13-game streak from Jan. 26-March 20 of last season.
Anaheim will play its next three games at home and could have forward Teemu
Selanne back in action earlier than expected. The 43-year-old was expected to
miss two weeks and undergo oral surgery after taking a stick to the mouth in
Philadelphia on Oct. 29, but noted on Tuesday that all four of the teeth he
lost were already fake. That prevented him from having to undergo surgery and
he is considered day-to-day.
"I was very lucky. My mouth guard really saved me in this case. I'm feeling
good now. I've been skating a couple days, and (Tuesday) was the third day
already. I'm anxious to get back," said Selanne.
The Ducks could use Selanne as they host a Coyotes club that is on its first
five-game winning streak since March 29-April 7 to close out the 2011-12
season. Each of Phoenix's last three wins have come in a shootout, including
last night's 3-2 win over Vancouver.
Radim Vrbata and Shane Doan scored in regulation, while Antoine Vermette had
the winner in the sixth round of the tiebreaker. Mike Smith made 31 saves as
the Coyotes won their sixth in a row at home, where they are 7-0-1 this
"We'll take the points. It was a game of inches," Phoenix head coach Dave
Tippett said. "It was a tight game, the kind of game we expected."
Tippett saw defenseman Rostislav Klesla return to action after missing four
games with a lower-body injury, but fellow blueliner Derek Morris exited last
night's contest dearly with a lower-body issue of his own.
Phoenix will play three of its next four on the road, where it is 4-3-1 this
season. The club will be looking to win six straight overall for the first
time since Feb. 16-28, 2012, a run that included three shootout wins and an
The Coyotes won three of four versus the Ducks last season, winning twice in a
shootout, before dropping a 3-2 shootout decision in Anaheim on Oct. 18.
Selanne had a goal for Anaheim and Jonas Hiller made 30 saves.
Vermette and Klesla both had goals for the Coyotes and Smith stopped 37 shots.
Smith is 8-3-2 with a 2.66 GAA and two shutouts in his career versus the
Ducks, but could give way to backup Thomas Greiss on the back end of games on
consecutive nights. Greiss is 0-2-1 with a 2.34 GAA in four games versus the
Ducks, including three starts.
Hiller is likely to start again for the Ducks and is 16-6-3 with a 2.51 GAA
and two shutouts in 26 career starts versus the Coyotes, who have lost four of
their past five in Anaheim.
11/06 10:37:55 ET