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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 WSH 52 39 9 4 171 117 82
2 FLA 54 32 16 6 150 122 70
3 NYR 54 31 18 5 153 135 67
4 DET 54 28 18 8 136 132 64
5 NYI 52 28 18 6 145 129 62
6 TBL 53 29 20 4 140 127 62
7 BOS 53 28 19 6 153 146 62
8 PIT 53 27 19 7 138 135 61
9 NJD 55 27 21 7 122 123 61
10 MTL 55 27 24 4 147 145 58
11 CAR 54 24 21 9 130 142 57
12 OTT 55 25 24 6 154 169 56
13 PHI 52 23 20 9 122 137 55
14 BUF 54 21 27 6 124 146 48
15 CBJ 55 21 28 6 137 170 48
16 TOR 52 19 24 9 120 144 47

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Faulk 54 15 19 -13 34
J. Skinner 54 19 12 -3 31
V. Rask 52 12 19 0 31
J. Staal 54 12 19 8 31
K. Versteeg 53 10 21 1 31
E. Staal 54 9 21 0 30
E. Lindholm 54 8 16 -9 24
A. Nestrasil 47 7 12 0 19
J. Nordstrom 43 5 9 2 14
R. Hainsey 54 3 11 -11 14
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Ward 15 11 6 .908 2.38
E. Lack 9 10 3 .901 2.74
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