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NHL Preview from The Sports Network



Sunday, October 23rd (All times eastern)

Phoenix Coyotes (2-3-1) at Anaheim Ducks (4-2-0), 8 p.m.

(Sports Network) - The Phoenix Coyotes will try to avoid a third straight loss when they visit the rival Anaheim Ducks for a Pacific Division clash tonight at the Honda Center.

Phoenix has recorded just two wins in six games (2-3-1) this year and was outscored by a combined 7-2 margin in its most recent games against Chicago and Los Angeles.

After getting dealt a 5-2 loss by the visiting Blackhawks on Tuesday, the Coyotes completed their three-game homestand with Thursday's 2-0 setback against Los Angeles. Jonathan Quick made 28 saves to record the shutout for the Kings.

Mike Smith stopped 20-of-22 shots for Phoenix, which is 1-1-1 as the visiting team this season. Following tonight's test, the Coyotes will return to the desert for a three-game homestand that is set to begin Tuesday against Dallas.

"I'd like to see us execute a little better with the puck. There's some situations where we could be cleaner with the puck," Coyotes head coach Dave Tippett said after Thursday's setback to the Kings. "I thought Mike Smith was excellent, I thought our competing and try was better, but the bottom line is that you have to find a way to win and we didn't do that."

The Ducks had won four straight games before having that streak snapped by the visiting Stars on Friday night. Dallas received two goals and an assist from Loui Eriksson en route to the 3-1 victory in Orange County.

Corey Perry scored the lone goal for the Ducks, while Jonas Hiller allowed three goals on 19 shots in defeat. Eriksson's first goal against Hiller came just 13 seconds into the game.

"I think it went off our defenseman's skate or stick," Hiller said. "It was a bad bounce. We just weren't focused enough at the beginning of the game. The game starts when the puck drops. For us, a good start is crucial."

Hiller has solid career numbers against the Coyotes, going 11-4-2 with a 2.52 goals-against average and a .922 save percentage in 18 games versus Phoenix. Smith is 3-0-1 with a 1.38 GAA and a .944 save percentage in five career games against Anaheim.

Ducks captain Ryan Getzlaf hopes to get untracked against the Coyotes after managing to record just two points -- both assists -- in six games this season. The playmaking centerman has excellent career numbers against Phoenix, registering 38 points (9 goals, 29 assists) in 36 games.

The Ducks and Coyotes split six meetings last season and Phoenix has recorded eight wins over the last 13 encounters. The Coyotes also have five losses in their last eight trips to Anaheim, but have won two straight at the Honda Center.

10/23 10:31:47 ET


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