NHL Preview from The Sports Network|
Saturday, January 7th
(All times Eastern)
New York Islanders (14-18-6) at Phoenix Coyotes (19-17-5), 8 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Phoenix Coyotes will try to get back on track this
evening when they host the cellar-dwelling New York Islanders for an
interconference battle at Jobing.com Arena.
The Coyotes, who are currently seeded 11th in the Western Conference, have
lost two straight and six of their last seven games heading into tonight. This
evening's tilt is the lone home test for Phoenix in an eight-game stretch. The
Coyotes wrapped a four-game swing with a 1-0 setback in Los Angeles on
Thursday and will begin a three-game trip following tonight's contest.
Despite failing to score a goal, Phoenix was able to record a point in the 1-0
setback in Los Angeles. Jonathan Quick notched his sixth shutout of the season
for the Kings and Drew Doughty scored 38 seconds into overtime to lift LA to
Mike Smith was denied the victory despite stopping 27-of-28 shots for the
Coyotes. It was Smith's second game back after missing two weeks with a groin
"Smith was unbelievable," said Coyotes captain Shane Doan. "We just have to
find a way to score."
The Coyotes have lost their last three home games and have actually been
better on the road this season. Phoenix is 7-8-3 as the host and 12-9-2 on the
Phoenix will get forward Raffi Torres back tonight after he served a two-game
suspension for an illegal hit on Minnesota's Nate Prosser. Defenseman
Adrian Aucoin is questionable after getting hit in the face with a puck on
Meanwhile, the Islanders, who are last in the East with just 34 points, had
won three in a row before losing last night in Anaheim. Bobby Ryan scored
twice as the Ducks rallied for a 4-2 win at the Honda Center.
The Islanders had taken a 2-1 lead 6:20 into the third as Kyle Okposo scored
on a feed from Jonathan Tavares in front, but Anaheim scored the next three
Matt Martin had the other goal for the Islanders, while Evgeni Nabokov was
tagged for all four goals on 20 shots.
"We have to bounce back and forget about this," said New York head coach Jack
Capuano. "We let one slip away here tonight and that's not acceptable."
In addition to losing the game, Isles forward Marty Reasoner left Friday's
contest with a broken right thumb and will be sidelined indefinitely.
New York is 6-9-3 as the visiting team this year and is closing out a three-
game road trip tonight.
The Coyotes and Islanders have split the last six meetings against each other
and the last two encounters ended in shootouts. Phoenix is 3-1-1 with a tie in
the last six matchups in the desert.
01/07 11:10:43 ET