OILERS (13-24-4) at COYOTES (19-10-9)
TV: SNET-EDM, FS-A
Last 10: Edmonton 3-6-1; Phoenix 3-2-5
Season series: This is the third of five games between these new Pacific Division rivals. The Phoenix Coyotes won the first two and are 13-2-2 overall against the Edmonton Oilers under coach Dave Tippett.
Big story: The Coyotes and Oilers will look to get a jump on their New Year's resolutions. Phoenix kicks off a season-long six-game homestand, and Edmonton starts a three-game road swing.
The Coyotes are still in playoff position in eighth place in the Western Conference, but have fallen to fifth in the highly competitive Pacific with losses in six of seven. Phoenix has gone beyond regulation in five straight games, losing four.
The Oilers will be looking for at least a point in their fourth straight game.
Oilers: Edmonton has endured an up-and-down season, with the downs lasting longer than the ups. Right now, the Oilers are trending upward with points in three straight. However, they have one road victory against a team currently holding a playoff spot, a 4-3 win against the Montreal Canadiens on Oct. 22, after 22 games in opponents' buildings.
Edmonton will play three straight road games against teams currently in playoff positions. The Oilers should bring some confidence to the road swing after outscoring their past three opponents 11-5 in going 2-0-1. Edmonton beat the Winnipeg Jets and Calgary Flames before losing to the Philadelphia Flyers 4-3 in a shootout on Saturday.
Coyotes: As the race to the postseason heats up, the games get tighter and two points are harder to grasp. This has been especially true for the Coyotes, who have played beyond 60 minutes for five straight games (1-0-4). The five-game stretch includes losses against the NHL's worst team, the Buffalo Sabres, and one if its best, the Anaheim Ducks.
"That's five games in a row in overtime [and] we have only got one extra point, so that's a little disappointing," coach Dave Tippett said.
Down 2-0 late in the third period against Anaheim on Saturday, the Coyotes scored twice in the final 4:34 to force overtime. It was the second time in two nights the Coyotes erased a late deficit. On Friday, Radim Vrbata scored in the final minutes to help push the San Jose Sharks to the shootout.
"I like the way our guys hung in there and battled," Tippett said. "Like a number of times this year, we found a way to scratch points out of situations that looked a little bleak. We'll take the point and move on."
Who's hot: Hall has five points the past three games for Edmonton. … Coyotes leading scorer Mike Ribeiro scored the tying goal Saturday against Anaheim, and has three points (one goal) his past two games. Ribeiro had three points in the most-recent game against Edmonton.
Injury report: Oilers center Mark Arcobello (ribs) is closing in on a return after missing five games, but he's still day-to-day. Defenseman Corey Potter (groin), defenseman Philip Larsen (illness) and left wing Ryan Jones (head) are out. … Coyotes captain Shane Doan (illness) skated Monday and Tuesday, but remains on injured reserve. Defenseman Rostislav Klesla (illness) and defenseman Zbynek Michalek (lower body) remain out. The Coyotes recalled forward Chris Brown from Portland of the American Hockey League on Monday.
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