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Preview: Coyotes at Ducks

Arizona is looking to end eight-game losing streak on Friday

by Dave Vest @davest4yotes / Coyotes Sr. Director of News Content

The Coyotes will try to snap an eight-game losing streak on Friday night when they take on the Anaheim Ducks at the Honda Center. The puck drops at 8 p.m. Arizona time.

Arizona (11-22-5) last played on Wednesday at Vancouver and lost 3-0.

"You have to look to your top players," Head Coach Dave Tippett said. "Your key veteran players have to lead the way. They're the guys that step out and dictate the pace of the game, the thought processes in the game. We've got a lot of younger players that, if they can get out there and get their feet underneath them, hopefully the consistency will come to our game. But you need your veteran players to go out there and do their job and get the game going the right way for you."

Mike Smith is expected to start in goal after stopping 21 of 24 shots vs. Vancouver in his first start after a five-day break. Smith is 3-3-0 in his past six starts vs. Anaheim with a 1.82 goals-against average and a .947 save percentage in those games.

The Coyotes were hoping to have center Alexander Burmistrov in the lineup for the first time since claiming him off waivers on Monday. But Burmistrov, who played 23 games for Winnipeg this season before being waived, is working through visa issues and most likely will have to wait until Jan. 13 to make his debut.

Forward Radim Vrbata leads Arizona in goals (nine), assists (15) and points (24), but he's notched just one goal and three assists during the eight-game slide.

Forward Anthony Duclair has scored six of his 24 NHL goals vs. the Ducks. Duclair will play with center Martin Hanzal and winger Tobias Rieder.

"We want to make quick passes and simple plays off the neutral zone, get in deep and go to work," Duclair said. " … They've got some tough defensemen but we want to use our speed -- me and Rieder -- and beat them wide and try to get in deep."

Anaheim (20-12-8) has earned at least one point in six consecutive games (3-0-3).

John Gibson stopped all 23 shots he faced and former Coyotes forward Antoine Vermette assisted on both goals in Anaheim's 2-0 win over Detroit on Wednesday. Captain Ryan Getzlaf did not play in that game because of a lower-body injury. He is considered day-to-day and will not play vs. the Coyotes.

The Ducks are 11-2-3 in their past 16 games vs. the Coyotes including three wins in a row. They outscored Arizona, 15-4, in those three victories.

Forward Rickard Rakell leads Anaheim with 16 goals in 29 games, and forward Ryan Kesler is the top point producer with 34.

Forward Andrew Cogliano has played in 744 consecutive games, the longest streak in the NHL in more than 23 years. He has not missed a game since making his NHL debut on Oct. 4, 2007.



TV: FOX Sports Arizona

Radio: Arizona Sports 98.7 FM


Tweet from @ArizonaCoyotes: Tonight's projected lineup in Anaheim. #ARIvsANA

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