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NHL Preview from The Sports Network

Tuesday, December 23rd (All times eastern)

Phoenix Coyotes (10-11-10-1) at Columbus Blue Jackets (8-17-4-3), 7 p.m.

(Sports Network) - Two struggling squads clash tonight when the Columbus Blue Jackets welcome the Phoenix Coyotes to Nationwide Arena.

Columbus has lost five straight (0-3-0-2) and is 0-5-1-2 in the last eight overall. Phoenix has been racking up points but not wins recently, going 0-1-4 in the last five.

The Blue Jackets are coming off Saturday's 5-2 loss in Minnesota. Geoff Sanderson and Trevor Letowski scored for the sputtering club, which has managed just one victory in 12 contests (1-7-2-2).

Marc Denis and Fred Brathwaite combined to stop just 30-of-35 shots for Columbus, with Denis surrendering four goals on 25 shots before giving way to Brathwaite after two periods.

Columbus was 0-for-5 on the power play just one night after failing to score on a team-record 13 man advantage opportunities in a 2-1 loss to Calgary.

The Jackets, 0-2-1-1 in their last four at home, will visit Chicago on Friday.

Phoenix, meanwhile, skated to its third consecutive tie on Monday, a 3-3 affair in Nashville. Shane Doan's 14th goal of the season 8:40 into the third period lifted the Coyotes to the deadlock, as they withstood a hat trick off the stick of the Preds' Scott Walker.

Jan Hrdina had a goal and an assist for the Coyotes and Ladislav Nagy also lit the lamp for Phoenix, while Brian Boucher made 16 stops. Nagy leads the club with 16 tallies this season.

The Coyotes, 0-1-4 in their last five road games, conclude a five-game trip this evening. They'll open a three-game homestand and the brand new Glendale Arena on Saturday against Nashville.

Phoenix and Columbus skated to a 2-2 tie at Nationwide on November 16 and the Coyotes are 5-1-2 in the last eight meetings.

12/23 10:25:54 ET

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