NHL Preview from The Sports Network|
Wednesday, February 23rd
(All times eastern)
Phoenix Coyotes (33-19-9) at Tampa Bay Lightning (34-18-7), 7:30 p.m.
(Sports Network) - Coyotes captain Shane Doan made sure his record-tying night
would be one to remember. Perhaps for an encore he can lead his club to a rare
victory over the Lightning on Wednesday at St. Pete Times Forum.
With Doan set to become the franchise's all-time leader in games played,
Phoenix takes aim at a ninth straight victory as it continues its road trip
against a Lightning club hoping to avoid a season-worst fourth straight loss.
The 34-year-old Doan skated in his 1,098th career game last night, all with
the Phoenix/Winnipeg franchise to match Teppo Numminen's all-time mark. Doan
made sure his club would earn two points on his milestone night by scoring a
power-play goal 2:41 into overtime for a 3-2 victory over Philadelphia.
Doan's goal came after Flyers defenseman Kimmo Timonen was called for hooking.
Philadelphia defenseman Andrej Meszaros also lost his stick during the 4-on-3
situation, leaving Doan plenty of space to fire a one-timer into the net.
"Yeah, I mean we obviously took advantage of a couple bounces too," said Doan,
who scored in his third straight game and has points in five in a row. "It was
a big two points for us. Anytime we come to this building, you know it going
to be a tough game and we found a way."
Taylor Pyatt and Eric Belanger had third-period goals to help Phoenix run its
win streak to eight straight for the first time since a nine-game run from
March 4-21 of last season. The Coyotes have also won the first two contests of
a five-game road trip and eight of their last nine as the guest overall to
remain a point up on the Sharks for first place in the Pacific Division.
Phoenix also won its sixth straight one-goal game despite missing defenseman
Ed Jovanovski and forward Ray Whitney. Jovanovski was placed on injured
reserve Friday due to an orbital bone fracture, while Whitney is day-to-day
with a lower-body injury suffered on Saturday versus the Predators.
Ilya Bryzgalov made 37 saves to win eight straight starts for the first time
in his career. He has also made 19 starts in a row overall, a personal best,
but it is unknown if that streak will continue tonight. Bryzgalov is 2-1-0
with a 2.00 goals-against average in three starts versus the Lightning, while
backup Jason LaBarbera, who hasn't started since Jan. 10, is 0-2-0 with a 3.69
GAA versus them.
Bryzgalov gave up three goals in a 3-0 loss to the Tampa Bay in Phoenix on
Oct. 30, the Coyotes' eighth in their last 10 versus the Lightning. Doan did
not have a point in that game and has just six assists without a goal in 19
career games against Tampa.
Phoenix did snap a three-game series road losing streak with last year's 2-1
win at Tampa Bay.
The Lightning have lost three in a row for the third time this season, but two
of the setbacks have come in a shootout. That includes Saturday's 3-2 loss to
Marc-Andre Bergeron and Sean Bergenheim scored for the Lightning, who fell to
5-3-2 on their 12-game homestand and are a point up on the Capitals for first
place in the Southeast Division. They wrap their NHL record-tying residency on
Friday versus the Devils.
In his first start since Jan. 6, Dan Ellis made 24 saves on 26 shots faced for
Tampa Bay, which went 0-for-6 on the power play.
"You're hoping that your special teams are going to make you win the game,"
said Tampa Bay's Simon Gagne. "They did a good job. They forced us to make
mistakes on the power play."
Though without defenseman Matt Smaby for a third straight game due to flu-like
symptoms, blueliner Eric Brewer did make his debut after being acquired from
the Blues on Friday.
Martin St. Louis had an assist in the setback to give him seven over a six-
game assist streak.
Despite Ellis making 23 saves in the shutout victory over the Coyotes on Oct.
30, Dwayne Roloson could get the start tonight. Roloson gave up six goals in
his last outing on Feb. 17, but is 7-1-0 in his last eight versus Phoenix with
a 2.60 GAA.
02/23 10:45:11 ET