Two surging teams meet as Coyotes host Ducks
DUCKS (24-18-4) at COYOTES (22-13-9)
TV -- PRIME (HD), FS-A (HD)
Last 10 --
Anaheim 7-3-0; Phoenix 6-2-2
Season series --
This is the fifth of six meetings between the Pacific Division rivals. The Ducks have taken three of the first four games, including both previous matchups in Phoenix -- 6-4 on Nov. 27 and 3-1 on Dec. 28.
Big Story --
Two of the hottest teams in the NHL will face off in this one. The Ducks have won three straight and six of their last seven, while the Coyotes have won three straight and are unbeaten in regulation in their last seven.
After ending their six-game homestand on a high, the Ducks are hoping their confidence carries over onto the road, which is where they'll spend five of their next six games, starting with Saturday's visit to Phoenix.
"We're starting to get a quiet confidence in what we're doing," defenseman Andy Sutton
said. "I wasn't there in the early part of the season but I could tell that we had some panic. Going into the third (period, Wednesday against St. Louis), there was no sense of panic. We just knew we were going to win the game."
Watching a key leader like veteran defenseman Ed Jovanovski leave Thursday's game late in the second period with an injury on a hard hit by the Leafs' Mike Brown motivated Phoenix to come out full-force in the third period.
The Coyotes scored four times in the third to turn a 1-1 game into a 5-1 victory and end the Leafs' win streak at four.
"We came out in the third and got high emotionally and said, 'OK, we got to finish this game as soon as possible,'" goalie Ilya Bryzgalov told the Arizona Republic.
Who's Hot --
Ducks forward Bobby Ryan
has been carrying the offense in the absence of captain Ryan Getzlaf
. In six games without their top-line center, Ryan has 7 goals. … Coyotes defenseman Keith Yandle has 4 points in his last two games and is sixth in the League among defensemen with 34 points.
Injury Report --
Getzlaf won't need surgery to repair the nasal and sinus fractures he suffered Dec. 28, but he's still expected to miss at least another month. … The Coyotes could be down two regular defensemen for Saturday -- Michal Rozsival, just acquired from the Rangers, has sore ribs, and Jovanovski is day to day with a lower-body injury.
Stat Pack -- Teemu Selanne
is one point shy from becoming the 32nd player in NHL history with 1,300 points.
However, with the Coyotes looking for extra offense, Boedker will get a chance to stick for a while this time.
"Bods was the guy playing the best down there now, that's the way we're going to do things," coach Dave Tippett told the Arizona Republic. "He's close to being a regular NHL player here, great speed, great kid. He'll come in with only 12 forwards right now. I think his speed and the way he played when he came up should really help us."