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NHL Preview from The Sports Network



Wednesday, October 15th (All times eastern)

Phoenix Coyotes (2-0-0-0) at Florida Panthers (1-0-2-0), 7:30 p.m.

(Sports Network) - The Phoenix Coyotes seek their first 3-0 start in 16 years tonight when they visit the Florida Panthers at the Office Depot Center.

The Coyotes franchise hasn't won its first three contests since the start of the 1987-88 season when the Winnipeg Jets accomplished the feat.

Thus far this campaign, Phoenix has defeated St. Louis and Anaheim, including Sunday's 2-0 triumph against the host Mighty Ducks. Sean Burke made 31 saves for his 34th career shutout, as the Coyotes spoiled the Ducks' home opener.

Ladislav Nagy and Daymond Langkow each found the back of the net for the Coyotes. Langkow has scored in each of the first two contests.

The fast start for Phoenix is the polar opposite of what occurred last fall, as Bob Francis' club began 0-2 in 2002. Sunday's tilt marked the opener of a three-game road trip, and the Coyotes will visit Tampa on Thursday.

Florida, meanwhile, is unbeaten (1-0-2) through three. After a season-opening victory over Carolina, the Panthers have been forced to settle for consecutive ties. The Cats skated to a 1-1 stalemate with visiting Boston Saturday night before heading to Raleigh for a 2-2 deadlock with the Hurricanes on Monday.

Marcus Nilson had a goal and an assist Monday, while Kristian Huselius also scored for the Panthers. Roberto Luongo finished with 33 saves in net. Huselius, who has scored 20-plus goals in each of his first two NHL seasons, has found the net twice already in the early going.

After tonight the Panthers will open a three-game New York area road trip, beginning Saturday on Long Island. Florida will play six of its next seven away from home.

Phoenix and Florida skated to a 3-3 tie at America West Arena last November in their only meeting of the season, and the Coyotes are 2-1-1 in the last four clashes. The Coyotes have won in three of their last five trips to South Florida.

10/15 10:33:23 ET


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