NHL Preview from The Sports Network
Friday, February 20th (All times eastern)
Columbus Blue Jackets (17-30-8-4) at Phoenix Coyotes (19-23-14-3), 9 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The struggling Phoenix Coyotes attempt to get back on the winning track tonight when they welcome the Columbus Blue Jackets to Glendale Arena.
The Coyotes were dealt their second straight loss on Wednesday night, as Detroit posted a 5-2 win over Phoenix at Joe Louis Arena. Kris Draper scored the final two goals of the game to ice the victory for the Red Wings.
Chris Gratton and Fredrik Sjostrom each tallied for Phoenix, while Brian Boucher stopped 29 of the 33 shots he faced. The Coyotes fell to 1-8-1-1 in their last 11 games.
Sjostrom's goal was his first in 13 games. His last came on January 13, also in Detroit.
The Coyotes open a five-game homestand at their new building tonight. Phoenix, which is 10 points out of the last playoff spot in the Western Conference, is just 3-8-2-1 since opening Glendale in late December.
Columbus is coming off Wednesday's 3-1 setback in Anaheim. Vaclav Prospal scored the game-winner with 1:49 remaining in the third period to lift the Mighty Ducks.
The Blue Jackets got a goal from Geoff Sanderson and 31 stops in net from Marc Denis, but lost for the fourth time in six games (2-3-0-1). They are now winless in their last five trips to Anaheim (0-4-1).
Prospal gave the Ducks a 2-1 lead when he found a loose puck after a faceoff in the Columbus zone and wristed a soft shot over Denis' glove for his 17th of the season.
Columbus forward Rick Nash, who is second in the NHL with 31 goals, had a pair of sparkling chances to tie it before all was said and done, but J.S. Giguere stoned him on two point-blank shots.
The Blue Jackets play the third test of their four-game road trip on Saturday in Los Angeles.
Phoenix leads the season series against the Blue Jackets, 1-0-2, and is unbeaten in the last four matchups (2-0-2). The Coyotes are also 4-0-3 in their last seven home tilts against Columbus and have just one loss in the previous 10 meetings overall (6-0-3).
02/20 10:23:56 ET