NHL Preview from The Sports Network|
Thursday, November 12th
(All times eastern)
Montreal Canadiens (8-10-0) at Phoenix Coyotes (10-7-0), 9 p.m.
(Sports Network) - A pair of slumping teams get together this evening at
Arizona's Jobing.com Arena, where the Phoenix Coyotes begin a three-game
homestand with tonight's matchup against the Montreal Canadiens.
Both clubs have lost three of their last four games, with the disappointing
Canadiens plagued by a recent lack of offense and the Coyotes failing to match
the level of play on the defensive end that propelled them to an excellent
9-4-0 record during the month of October.
Phoenix has permitted four or more goals in each of its last three defeats,
including Saturday's 4-3 setback at Anaheim in which goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov
managed to stop just 22-of-26 shots from the Ducks.
The Coyotes trailed 4-0 early in the third period before putting forth a
belated comeback attempt. Keith Yandle and Scottie Upshall scored 38 seconds
apart to bring Phoenix within two goals with under 13 minutes left, and Shane
Doan's power-play tally with 5:24 to go accounted for the final margin.
Phoenix outshot the Ducks by a 16-5 margin over the final 20 minutes.
"We didn't show much emotion the first two periods," Yandle said. "We played a
good third and we want to build on that."
Montreal comes in having lost two straight games and five of its last seven
contests, with the Habs having registered two goals or fewer five times during
The team was shut out at home by Calgary its most recent time out, with the
Flames' Miikka Kiprusoff making 25 saves to lead the way in Tuesday's 1-0
Kiprusoff outdueled Canadiens netminder Jaroslav Halak, who turned aside 30-
of-31 attempts in a hard-luck defeat. The only goal of the night came with
5:05 left in the opening period, when Flames All-Star Jarome Iginla delivered
a wrist shot that got by Halak on the stick side.
Tuesday's loss followed up a 3-1 setback to Tampa Bay Saturday at the Bell
Centre, with the Lightning's Antero Niittymaki stopping 36-of-37 shots by
"It's tough in this league; there's a lot of good players, and a lot of good
goaltenders," said Montreal's Brian Gionta following the Calgary loss. "I
thought our effort was there for most of the game, it was just a matter of not
finishing. It was a tough one to lose."
The Canadiens will try to rebound against a Phoenix team it has defeated five
straight times and hasn't lost in 10 straight games against, having amassed
seven wins and three ties during that stretch. Montreal posted a 4-1 home
victory over the Coyotes last season and is 4-1 with two ties in seven
road tests against Phoenix.
Phoenix may also be without one of its top defensemen for tonight's tilt, as
veteran Ed Jovanovski is considered day-to-day with a lower-body injury that
kept him out of Saturday's loss to the Ducks. The former No. 1 overall pick
has produced 13 points (5 goals, 8 assists) in 16 games this season, one shy
of Doan for the team lead.
11/12 10:52:43 ET