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NHL Preview from The Sports Network



Wednesday, January 31st (All times eastern)

Phoenix Coyotes (23-25-2) at Anaheim Ducks (31-12-8), 10 p.m.

(Sports Network) - The Anaheim Ducks will try to post consecutive victories for the first time in over a month when they welcome the Phoenix Coyotes to the Honda Center tonight.

The Ducks were the NHL's best team through mid-December, but are just 6-9-2 in their last 17 games. They are still first in the Pacific Division and second in the Western Conference with 70 points.

Anaheim ended a four-game losing streak Sunday, as it disposed of the visiting Dallas Stars, 4-1. Andy McDonald scored two goals to lead the way for the Ducks.

Dustin Penner and Teemu Selanne also tallied goals for Anaheim, while Jean- Sebastien Giguere made 30 saves in the win. It was the first game back for Giguere since he injured his groin on December 26.

A victory tonight would give the Ducks back-to-back wins for the first time since December 18th and 20th.

Tonight marks the end of a brief two-game homestand for the Ducks, who are 17-4-5 in Anaheim this year.

The Ducks will likely be without defenseman Scott Niedermayer for tonight's game. The former Norris Trophy winner suffered a stress fracture on December 29, but played 10 games before the injury was revealed. Niedermayer then opted to sit out of the All-Star Game to give the injury time to heal, but now it seems an x-ray is necessary.

Anaheim had been without another Norris Trophy winning defenseman in Chris Pronger, but he returned Sunday against Dallas after missing nine games with a broken left foot.

The Coyotes hope to rebound from Saturday's embarrassing home loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins. Sidney Crosby and Mark Recchi each had a goal and three assists to lead the Pens to a 7-2 rout of Phoenix at Jobing.com Arena.

Shane Doan and Steven Reinprecht scored for the Coyotes, who had their two- game winning streak snapped. Mikael Tellqvist surrendered all seven goals on 32 shots.

The Coyotes, who are 11-14-1 as the visitor, are playing just one game on the road before returning to Phoenix for a two-game homestand.

Anaheim is 3-1 against the Coyotes this year and Phoenix has dropped eight straight at the Honda Center.

01/31 10:41:58 ET


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