Fans of the Phoenix Coyotes cannot be pleased about the team's play at home so far this season. On the road, though, the last-place team has been hard to beat recently.
Phoenix (5-7-0) will try to win its fifth straight road game when it meets the defending Stanley Cup champion Anaheim Ducks on Wednesday night at the Honda Center.
The Coyotes have already won there once this season, snapping a 10-game losing streak at Anaheim (6-8-2) that dated back to 2003. Alex Auld made 31 saves and Craig Weller scored his first NHL goal in the 1-0 win on Oct. 25.
"When you come into this building, you expect a lot of work," Auld said. "We really weathered the storm."
With a loss on Oct. 10 at Columbus, Phoenix extended its road losing streak to eight games dating back to March 1. They snapped that slide with a 6-3 win on Oct. 11 at Nashville and have two shutout wins since then.
Besides Auld's effort against the Ducks last month, Mikael Tellqvist overcame the flu to make 35 saves in a 5-0 win on Friday at Dallas.
Phoenix opened this season with a 3-2 home win over St. Louis on Oct. 4, but has dropped six in a row there since including a 5-2 loss to the Ducks on Saturday. Anaheim got a goal and two assists from Mathieu Schneider in his second game after suffering a broken during the preseason.
But that also came before an ugly 5-0 home loss to the Stars on Monday. After the second period, the Ducks pulled goalie Jean-Sebastien Giguere and the fans booed the home team off the ice. It was Anaheim's worst home loss in the regular season since 2001.
"I think they have a bit of a Stanley Cup hangover going on over there," Stars center Mike Modano said. "As much as they put into the playoffs last year, it's just tough to come back and get motivated and get up for games because of how hard you've been pushed physically and mentally only a few months ago. A couple of their key guys from last year aren't there, so they've got a different makeup."
With last season's leading scorer Teemu Selanne and Conn Smythe Trophy winner Scott Niedermayer still mulling retirement, the Ducks have struggled to find consistency, going 2-4-1 in their last seven.
The Coyotes could be the right remedy, as Anaheim's goalies have historically dominated Phoenix. Giguere is 16-7-1 with a tie and a 2.22 GAA all-time against them, while Ilya Bryzgalov is 7-2-0 with a 1.68 GAA.
Despite their early-season struggles, Anaheim has 14 points and is tied with Dallas and Los Angeles for second in the Pacific Division, one point behind San Jose.
|Apr 06 '08||PHX 2 at ANA 3 - SO||R. Getzlaf|
|Mar 22 '08||ANA 2 at PHX 1||T. Selanne|
|Mar 11 '08||ANA 2 at PHX 3 - SO||R. Vrbata|
|Jan 05 '08||ANA 2 at PHX 3 - SO||P. Mueller|
|Nov 23 '07||PHX 4 at ANA 3 - SO||S. Doan|
|Nov 07 '07||PHX 6 at ANA 5 - OT||S. Doan|
|Nov 03 '07||ANA 5 at PHX 2||B. May|
|Oct 25 '07||PHX 1 at ANA 0||C. Weller|