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NHL Preview from The Sports Network
Saturday, April 27th (All times Eastern)
Phoenix Coyotes (20-18-9) at Anaheim Ducks (30-11-6), 10 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Anaheim Ducks will try to head into the playoffs with some positive momentum, as they shoot for a fourth straight win to close the regular season in Saturday's home game against the Phoenix Coyotes.
With 66 points, the Pacific Division champion Ducks, who have won three in a row on the heels of a four-game slide, are locked into the second seed in the Western Conference.
Anaheim will try for its first four-game winning streak since taking five straight from March 6-14. The Ducks followed that run with a 7-8-3 record from March 22-April 19, a stretch that included a pair of four-game losing streaks.
However, the Ducks ended their most recent four-game slide with consecutive road wins against Edmonton before notching a third straight victory in Thursday's 3-1 decision in Vancouver. Jonas Hiller stopped 28 shots to help the Ducks close a four-game road trip with a 3-1-0 record.
Andrew Cogliano, Brad Staubitz and Matt Beleskey each had a goal for the Ducks, who have won three straight.
"We did a great job of being in front and blocking shots. We were doing the things you need to do to win," Ducks head coach Bruce Boudreau said.
Thursday's game had no meaning for either team as both clubs were already locked into their respective playoff seed. Vancouver won the Northwest Division and is assured of the third spot in the West.
Anaheim is 16-6-1 as the host this season but will try to halt a two-game home losing streak in the regular-season finale at Honda Center.
The Ducks had lost three straight to the Coyotes before snapping their series' losing streak with a 2-0 home win on March 6. Anaheim has won three straight on home ice against Phoenix.
The Coyotes, who will miss the playoffs for the first time since 2009, are coming off Friday's shootout loss against visiting Colorado. Matt Duchene capped a four-point night with the game-winning goal in the shootout to give the Avalanche a 5-4 decision in the season finale at Jobing.com Arena.
Duchene assisted on three other scores as the Avalanche spoiled the Coyotes' home finale with only their fourth road victory of the season. P.A. Parenteau added a goal and an assist to the win, which he sealed by beating Phoenix goaltender Mike Smith in the second round of the shootout.
Antoine Vermette scored twice and Keith Yandle posted three assists for Phoenix, which lost for the fifth time in its last seven outings (2-2-3). Smith finished with 24 saves.
"We came out strong, but they answered back hard," Phoenix forward Rob Klinkhammer said. "It was nice to see everyone play hard. We fought hard until the end, it is a shame we couldn't bag one in."
Phoenix is just 6-10-7 as the visiting team this season.
04/27 11:13:12 ET