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Two Streaks on the Line vs. Phoenix

Friday, 11.21.2008 / 11:52 AM ET / Tracking the Storm
By Paul Branecky
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Two Streaks on the Line vs. Phoenix

Carolina and Phoenix don’t play each other too often – only twice in the last three years, to be exact – so it’s easy to not notice that the Coyotes currently own a four-game winning streak over the Hurricanes.

Paul Branecky
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I don’t put too much stock into that number, especially since the first game of that streak occurred in February of 2003.  Nevertheless, there is some relevant history here, as Cam Ward, who should make his fourth straight start in goal for the Canes tonight, is 0-2 with a 5.39 goals-against average against Phoenix in his career.

While both teams have gone through a tough offensive stretch recently (Carolina is 19th in goals per game with 2.63, Phoenix is 25th with 2.47), if they are able to execute their game plans, Ward and the Carolina defense could be in for a tough test as they try for their first three-game win streak of the season tonight.

The way the teams have described each other leading to tonight’s game, there could be a lot of scoring chances.

Canes coach Peter Laviolette: “They’re young and they’re very aggressive.  They’re extremely aggressive on the forecheck and in the neutral zone and they press a lot.  When you play teams like that, you have to be on your toes yourself and you have to be skating well.  If you do that, you can find some holes and hopefully exploit some things.  If you don’t bring the work, you can find yourself chasing the puck a lot.”

Coyotes coach Wayne Gretzky, per the Arizona Republic: “They're going to really come at us, and we better be strong defensively, and if we're strong defensively, maybe we'll create some turnovers and get some opportunities. But they're definitely going to throw everything at us. They don't hold back."

Although the Canes only scored two goals in their most recent game against Montreal, Laviolette actually felt very good about the team’s offensive performance, saying that Canadiens goalie Carey Price and the Montreal defense had more to do with the low goal total than anything the Canes were doing wrong.

“I certainly would take a duplicate of the last game where we had 90 attempts at the net,” said Laviolette, adding together the 48 shots on goal, 25 blocked attempts and 18 missed shots to get that total.  “Anytime you have 90 attempts at the net, you think you’re going to win a hockey game.  Between blocked shots and missed shots and the actual shots that hit the net – I’m not as concerned about offense”

Random stats: Unfortunately, Cane-killer Olli Jokinen (52 points in 50 games) is now a member of the Coyotes and will play tonight.  He has 17 points in 17 games this season …While Dennis Seidenberg ranks fourth in the NHL with 54 blocked shots, Phoenix’s Zbynek Michalek is first with 59 … Phoenix has lost three straight, including a 3-2 shootout loss to Chicago in their last game … Mikkel Boedker, one of two players on the Coyotes’ roster drafted in the first round this past summer (forward Viktor Tikhonov is the other), leads all rookie forwards in average ice time per game (17:54).

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STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - WSH 82 56 18 8 252 193 120
2 x - PIT 82 48 26 8 245 203 104
3 y - FLA 82 47 26 9 239 203 103
4 x - NYR 82 46 27 9 236 217 101
5 x - NYI 82 45 27 10 232 216 100
6 x - TBL 82 46 31 5 227 201 97
7 x - PHI 82 41 27 14 214 218 96
8 x - DET 82 41 30 11 211 224 93
9 BOS 82 42 31 9 240 230 93
10 CAR 82 35 31 16 198 226 86
11 OTT 82 38 35 9 236 247 85
12 NJD 82 38 36 8 184 208 84
13 MTL 82 38 38 6 221 236 82
14 BUF 82 35 36 11 201 222 81
15 CBJ 82 34 40 8 219 252 76
16 TOR 82 29 42 11 198 246 69

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Skinner 82 28 23 -2 51
V. Rask 80 21 27 -6 48
J. Staal 82 20 28 6 48
E. Lindholm 82 11 28 -23 39
J. Faulk 64 16 21 -22 37
K. Versteeg 63 11 22 -6 33
E. Staal 63 10 23 -3 33
J. Nordstrom 71 10 14 1 24
A. Nestrasil 55 9 14 4 23
R. Nash 64 9 13 -5 22
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Ward 23 17 10 .909 2.41
E. Lack 12 14 6 .901 2.81