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game preview

Senators, Coyotes seek key points in matinee

Saturday, 12.21.2013 / 1:59 AM

NHL.com

COYOTES (18-10-6) at SENATORS (14-17-6)

TV: SNET-W, ROOT

Last 10: Phoenix 4-4-2; Ottawa 4-4-2

Season series: This is the final game between the Ottawa Senators and Phoenix Coyotes this season. Jason Spezza had a natural hat trick and Cory Conacher's overtime goal gave the Senators a 4-3 win on Oct. 15.

Big story: Phoenix looks to end a three-game losing streak in which it has scored three goals. Ottawa is having problems keeping the puck out of the net, allowing four or more goals in three of its past four games.

Team Scope:

Coyotes: Phoenix had 35 shots but only one got past Toronto Maple Leafs goalie James Reimer Thursday night. The Coyotes lost 2-1 in a shootout and are winless in three games.

"We can definitely take some good things out of that game. We did a lot of good things in the third period to give ourselves a chance to get a point," goalie Mike Smith said. "As long as we are in games, we're giving ourselves a chance to win hockey games, we will be pleased with it."

The Coyotes are 0-1-1 on a four-game road trip that finishes with a visit to the Buffalo Sabres on Monday night.

"It's a good place to come in and play a hard road game. Hopefully we can build on this and continue the road trip and go into Ottawa and play well," coach Dave Tippet said.

Senators: Ottawa suffered a 4-2 loss against the Panthers on Thursday after failing to hold a 2-1 lead. The Panthers got two third-period goals in the final 2:32, one a power-play goal and the other shorthanded, for the victory.

"At the end of the day, it's a tie game going into the third. We take a penalty and they did a good job [scoring]," coach Paul MacLean said.

After Tom Gilbert's power-play goal gave the Panthers a 3-2 lead, the Senators had a chance to tie it on the power play, but Tomas Kopecky's shorthanded goal with 1:41 left put the game out of reach

"We have to find a way to get out of [the slump] … teams know that we are a reeling team right now and that we're fragile and if we continue to play fragile, teams are going to take advantage of us," Spezza said.

The Senators have dropped six of nine and have not won back-to-back games since Nov. 7-9.

Who's hot: Despite being winless in three starts, Smith has allowed a total of five goals and has a .941 save percentage in those games for the Coyotes. ... Defenseman Erik Karlsson has a four-game point streak for the Senators.

Injury report: Forwards Lauri Korpikoski (upper body) and Shane Doan (illness) and defenseman Zbynek Michalek (lower body) are on injured reserve for the Coyotes. ... Senators forward Mika Zibanejad left the game Thursday with an upper-body injury.

2013-2014 season series
DateScoreW. Goal
Dec 21 '13PHX 4 at OTT 3 - OTA. Vermette
Oct 15 '13OTT 4 at PHX 3 - OTC. Conacher
PlayerGPGAP+/-PIMPPGW
R. Vrbata33101727-31442
M. Ribeiro3591726-41822
M. Boedker35101424+11220
M. Hanzal3291524-24321
S. Doan27121123+1862
A. Vermette35121022+61831
K. Yandle3541822-62620
O. Ekman-Larsson3541721+72823
R. Klinkhammer357714+14801
D. Morris2341014+51200
D. Moss353912+3800
M. Stone29718-41621
L. Korpikoski19448+11200
K. Chipchura35257-52500
P. Bissonnette21156+41100
T. Kennedy20156+2200
D. Schlemko25145-3800
J. Halpern23134-71000
R. Klesla17134-11000
C. Murphy12134+3801
Z. Michalek24044+101000
J. Szwarz19202-61901
A. Miele4022+2500
D. Rundblad10011-3400
C. Brown5000+01700
L. Lessio3000-2200
B. Yip2000+0000
G. Brule2000-1200
GoalieGPRec.GASAGAASv%
M. Smith3015-8-6849682.87.913
T. Greiss84-2-0141882.20.926
PlayerGPGAP+/-PIMPPGW
E. Karlsson3892534-101821
B. Ryan38161733+91451
J. Spezza37111829-132241
K. Turris3882028+131730
C. MacArthur37111526+114042
M. Michalek3861117-211420
M. Zibanejad298715-8620
P. Wiercioch2721113+1820
C. Phillips3711011-11610
Z. Smith386410-45303
M. Methot333710-61201
J. Corvo21369-4600
C. Conacher36268+41801
C. Greening38347-52421
E. Condra32347-21200
C. Neil38516-49700
J. Cowen35336+02201
E. Gryba18134+62300
J. Pageau14202-5600
D. Grant20022-3400
M. Borowiecki13101-24800
C. Ceci6101-1001
M. Kassian16000-11700
S. Da Costa4000+1200
M. Hoffman3000-2200
GoalieGPRec.GASAGAASv%
C. Anderson249-9-4757303.42.897
R. Lehner185-8-3425642.54.926