Coyotes aim to bounce back in Minnesota
Wednesday, 12.01.2010 / 7:00 PM
Brian Compton - NHL.com Deputy Managing EditorCOYOTES (11-7-5) at WILD (11-10-2)
: Fox Sports-Arizona, KSTC.
: Phoenix 7-2-1; Minnesota 4-6-0.
: This is the first of four meetings between the teams. Phoenix swept the season series in 2009-10 and outscored Minnesota 14-8. The Coyotes have won three straight at Xcel Energy Center.
: It took nearly two months, but the Coyotes have lost back-to-back games in regulation for the first time this season following Tuesday night's 3-0 loss at Nashville. Phoenix had won seven in a row prior to this recent slump.
"We have to make sure we're ready," captain Shane Doan
said of Wednesday's showdown with the Wild. "That's what's great about the NHL. ... We have a chance to respond and we need a good effort."
: Phoenix came up empty at Bridgestone Arena on Tuesday night, as none of its 33 shots found its way past Preds goalie Pekka Rinne. Special teams struggled mightily, as Nashville converted on two power plays, while the Coyotes went 0-for-3 with the man advantage.
"We had some guys who played hard and we did some good things tonight but in the end, you can't take penalties like that and expect to be successful," Phoenix coach Dave Tippett said. "It's not a recipe for winning."
: It'll be an exciting night in Minnesota as injury-plagued forward Pierre-Marc Bouchard
returns to the lineup. Bouchard has played just once after taking a hit to the head in March 2009, appearing only in last season's opener and missing 112 of a possible 113 games.
"The last seven to 10 days I've been feeling pretty good and pretty much symptom free," he said. "I'm really excited, that's for sure, but I'm also a little nervous. It's been a long time and I've been waiting for that day to play again. It seems like it's going to be my first NHL game all over again."
: Veteran forward Ray Whitney
leads the Coyotes with 16 points (3 goals, 13 assists) in 20 games. … Wild forward Martin Havlat has 22 points (5 goals, 17 assists) in 23 games.
: Minnesota will be without Chuck Kobasew (groin), Guillaume Latendresse
(groin), Josh Harding
(ACL/MCL) and James Sheppard (knee). Clayton Stoner
(upper body) is day-to-day. … Phoenix is boasting a healthy lineup.
: Tuesday's loss was Ilya Bryzgalov's first road regulation loss of the season. The Coyotes' goalie is 5-1-2 away from home. … In Niklas Backstrom
's last six starts, the Wild's goaltender is 2-4 and has allowed five goals, five goals, six goals and on Saturday a career-high seven in the four losses.
: "As a coach, I wonder, can I praise the guys about playing a good first? Does that affect them? I don't know. I think they're professionals, they're playing at the highest level, they're established guys. We should be able to handle that." -- Minnesota coach Todd Richards after Saturday's 7-4 loss to Colorado