NHL Preview from The Sports Network|
Saturday, October 31st
(All times eastern)
Anaheim Ducks (4-6-1) at Phoenix Coyotes (8-4-0), 9 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Anaheim Ducks broke out of a slump in a big way on
Friday. The club could find the task a little tougher this evening, however,
when it visits the surging Phoenix Coyotes in a showdown between Pacific
Anaheim had a string of four consecutive losses, each of which had come on
home ice, before last night's 7-2 rout of Vancouver at the Honda Center. Bobby
Ryan and Corey Perry each compiled two goals and an assist to lead the way,
while goaltender Jonas Hiller stopped 36-of-38 chances.
James Wisniewski finished with three assists for the Ducks, who trailed 2-0
less than five minutes in before erupting for seven unanswered goals.
"A lot of games we've gotten down and then we've gotten out," Ryan said.
"Tonight, we just found a way to stick with it and battle through. We did the
things that we need to do to score goals and it was a nice night for it. Guys
came out and answered the bell when we needed it."
Anaheim, which currently stands last in the Pacific with a 4-6-1 record, had
netted only nine goals over its previous four games combined.
The Ducks' suddenly-potent offense now gets to go up against one of the NHL's
hottest goaltenders in Phoenix's Ilya Bryzgalov, who posted his league-leading
third shutout of the young season in Thursday's 2-0 decision over St. Louis.
The 29-year-old Russian turned back all 32 shots he faced to lead the Coyotes
to their second straight win and sixth triumph in the team's last eight games.
Bryzgalov has recorded a stellar 1.77 goals against average in 10 starts this
season, which trails only Buffalo's Ryan Miller for tops in the league, while
his .929 save percentage is third-best among NHL netminders.
Daniel Winnik and Taylor Pyatt had the goals for Phoenix, while Bryzgalov
withstood a late barrage by the desperate Blues to make the lead stand. Eleven
of his 32 saves came in the third period.
"This is how we want to play," Coyotes head coach Dave Tippett said afterward.
"That's a hard-fought game. That's what I think the identity of our team is."
Phoenix returns home this evening after winning twice on a three-game road
trip and owns a 3-2-0 record as the host so far this year.
These divisional foes squared off six times in 2008-09, with the Ducks taking
four of those matchups. Anaheim has emerged victorious in three of its past
four visits to Glendale.
10/31 10:53:08 ET