NHL Preview from The Sports Network|
Saturday, February 7th
(All times eastern)
Carolina Hurricanes (26-22-5) at Phoenix Coyotes (24-24-5), 9 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Phoenix Coyotes will be aiming to avoid matching their
longest losing streak of the season in tonight's battle with the Carolina
Hurricanes at Jobing.com Arena.
The Coyotes have lost five straight games and are getting outscored 18-8 over
the skid, which is the club's longest since it dropped a season-worst six
consecutive games from November 13-24.
Phoenix actually had its best offensive performance on the losing streak on
Wednesday in Detroit, but it wasn't enough as it was defeated by the Red
Wings, 5-4. Detroit got the game-winner with a mere 39 seconds left in the
third frame, denying Phoenix its first point of this slide (0-5-0).
Playing in just his third game of the season, Joel Perrault scored in a second
straight contest for the Coyotes. Ed Jovanovski and Joakim Lindstrom both
registered a goal and an assist in defeat and Todd Fedoruk also lit the lamp.
Ilya Bryzgalov was beaten five times on 33 shots in defeat.
Phoenix's losing streak now has the club two points back of a playoff spot.
Starting with tonight's game, the Coyotes will play five of their next six at
home and are 16-8-2 as the hosting club this season.
The Hurricanes wrap a three-game west coast road trip tonight and have split
the first two contests of the trek. After a loss in Vancouver on Tuesday,
Carolina rebounded with a 4-3 shootout win versus San Jose on Thursday.
Sergei Samsonov had a goal in regulation and also tallied the game-winning
goal in the shootout. Matt Cullen and Ray Whitney also found the back of the
net for the Hurricanes, who have won three of their last four games overall.
Michael Leighton finished with 37 saves in the win.
Carolina, which trails Florida by one point for the eighth and final playoff
spot in the Eastern Conference, will play its second straight game without
captain Rod Brind'Amour, who is battling a lower-body injury and has eight
goals and 21 assists this year.
Eric Staal is also in danger of missing just the second game of his career.
Staal also suffered a lower-body injury versus the Sharks and is questionable
for tonight. Staal has 22 goals and 16 assists while playing in all 53 games
so far this year. He hasn't missed a game since his rookie season in 2003-04.
Despite their recent win, the 'Canes have still lost six of their last nine on
the road and are 12-12-4 away from Carolina this season.
The Hurricanes had lost four straight to the Coyotes until a 5-2 home win over
the club on November 21. Carolina has lost two straight in Phoenix.
02/07 10:43:18 ET