Series (Game 5 of 6)

Arizona leads 4-2

Game 1: Saturday, October 31st
Game 2: Saturday, November 7th
Game 3: Sunday, November 29th
Game 4: Saturday, December 19th
Game 5: Wednesday, December 23rd
Game 6: Saturday, March 6th

Ducks 0

(15-15-7, 37 pts)

Coyotes 4

(23-13-2, 48 pts)

9:00 PM ET, December 23, 2009

Gila River Arena, Glendale, Arizona

1 2 3 T
ANA 0 0 00
ARI 2 1 14

I. Bryzgalov (Coyotes - G): Saves: 21, Save Pct.: 1.000

S. Upshall (Coyotes - RW): Goals: 1, Assists: 0

T. Pyatt (Coyotes - LW): Goals: 1, Assists: 0

Ducks-Coyotes Preview


The surprising Phoenix Coyotes haven't experienced many defeats over the past month, but the Anaheim Ducks dealt them one just four days ago.

The Coyotes will try to avenge that rare recent loss Wednesday night by matching their longest home win streak in eight seasons.

Despite a turbulent offseason that included filing for bankruptcy, Phoenix (22-13-2) has emerged as a surprise playoff contender and helped its cause with a 9-2-1 mark since Nov. 27.

One of those losses, however, was a 4-2 road defeat to the Ducks on Saturday.

Anaheim (15-14-7) set up that victory with its continued skill at drawing penalties against the Coyotes. The Ducks matched a season high with seven power-play chances and converted two of them for their final goals.

They've created 23 opportunities this season against Phoenix, scoring at least one goal on the man advantage in each of this season's four meetings.

"Anytime you take penalties, it's going to give the other team opportunities. And that is basically what happened today," said Phoenix defenseman Ed Jovanovski, who spent six minutes in the box. "They are a team that works hard, and they've got some skill to go along with it."

The Coyotes bounced back Monday night against visiting Columbus by scoring twice in the first 11:44 en route to a 5-2 victory, leaving them one shy of their first eight-game home win streak since Feb. 12-March 24, 2002.

"It's your building and you have to take advantage of the comfort of sleeping in your own bed and coming to the rink ready to play," said forward Scottie Upshall, who had two goals and two assists.

Phoenix, however, will face a Ducks team that's making considerable strides after a slow start.

Anaheim, 10-13-4 over the season's first two months, has earned a point in eight of its last nine games and won five of seven, including Tuesday night's thrilling comeback in Colorado.

In the opener of a three-game road trip, the Ducks fell behind 2-0 early in the third period but scored all of its goals in the final 7:34, including Ryan Getzlaf's go-ahead tally with 25.9 seconds remaining.

"When you're down 2-0 with eight minutes left, you think things are almost wrapped up," Getzlaf said. "It's a situation where we battled pretty hard and got a few bounces and were able to get back on the board."

Paced by Getzlaf's career-high four-game goal streak, Anaheim has scored at least three times in six of its last eight, but the Ducks likely will face Phoenix's Ilya Bryzgalov, who has posted a minuscule 1.38 goals-against average while winning eight straight home starts.

The former Anaheim goaltender is also fourth in the league with a 2.08 GAA in 32 games, but the Ducks have experienced considerable success recently against Bryzgalov with 31 goals in the past eight meetings.

The Ducks figure to stick with Jonas Hiller, who has a 1.76 GAA during a personal four-game win streak. Hiller outdueled Bryzgalov by stopping 39 shots in Saturday's win and improved to 8-0-2 all-time against Phoenix.

The teams have split four meetings this season, including the Coyotes' 3-2 shootout victory in the previous game at Arena on Oct. 31.

Anaheim also fell 5-4 in a shootout in last season's final trip to Arizona on April 11, but owns a 6-0-3 edge in the series since Jan. 4.