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COYOTES VS. ANAHEIM: GAME PREVIEW

by Staff Writer / Arizona Coyotes
Anaheim at Phoenix
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GAME: Anaheim Mighty Ducks (7-10-4) at Phoenix Coyotes (11-10-2).

TIME: Tuesday, 9 p.m. EST.

Jean-Sebastien Giguere's injury may hurt the Anaheim Mighty Ducks' chances of avoiding a scar in the team record book.

With their top goalie's status uncertain because of a sore hamstring, the Mighty Ducks try to avoid setting a franchise mark with a ninth straight loss when they visit the Phoenix Coyotes.

Anaheim fell 3-2 to Vancouver on Sunday, extending its losing streak to a record-tying eight straight games. The Ducks also lost eight in a row in October 1996.

Three of the eight losses have been in overtime, and three others were by one goal in regulation.

"We're playing some good teams and the games are close, but no wins," captain Scott Niedermayer said. "It's not fun that's for sure. This is a good test, a good challenge."

Giguere started Sunday, but left in the first period after aggravating the hamstring injury that had sidelined him for two games.

If Giguere is unable to go Tuesday, Ilya Bryzgalov will start.

Ducks left wing Kip Brennan returned to the lineup Sunday after missing seven games with a shoulder strain.

Phoenix has won two straight and three of four, and Ladislav Nagy continues to lead the way.

Nagy had a goal and two assists, and David LeNeveu made 23 saves to help the Coyotes beat the Columbus Blue Jackets 5-1 on Sunday.

"I feel really good on the ice right now," said Nagy, who has a point in six straight games (four goals and five assists). "I've got a lot of confidence."

Coyotes coach Wayne Gretzky said Nagy played his best game of the season in Saturday's 4-3 shootout victory in San Jose.

Nagy extended his point streak on Phoenix's first goal Saturday, setting up Mike Johnson from behind the net on a give-and-go at 6:37 of the first period. Johnson bounced the puck off the back of Columbus goalie Marc Denis for the power-play score.

"They play well together," Gretzky said. "Nagy has a tremendous patience."

Zbynek Michalek, Boyd Devereaux and Geoff Sanderson also scored for the Coyotes.

Phoenix center Petr Nedved played for the first time since injuring his elbow Oct. 25. Playing in his 900th game, Nedved assisted on Nagy's goal and has two goals and five assists in 11 games.

STANDINGS: Mighty Ducks - 18 points, 5th place, 11 PB, Pacific Division. Coyotes - 24 points, 3rd place, 5 PB, Pacific Division.

TEAM LEADERS: Mighty Ducks - Teemu Selanne, 10 goals and 19 points; Niedermayer, 12 assists; Brennan, 35 PIM. Coyotes - Mike Leclerc, 8 goals; Nagy and Paul Mara, 13 assists; Nagy, 20 points; Keith Ballard, 42 PIM.

SPECIAL TEAMS (through Nov. 20): Mighty Ducks - Power play: 16.1 percent (22 for 136), 22nd in NHL. Penalty killing: 83.4 percent (126 for 151), 12th. Coyotes - Power play: 19.1 percent (28 for 146), 12th. Penalty killing: 81.4 percent (110 for 135), 18th.

GOALTENDERS: Mighty Ducks - Bryzgalov (1-6-0, 3.23 GAA); Giguere (6-4-4, 2.51). Coyotes - Curtis Joseph (9-6-0, 2 SO, 2.27); David Leneveu (2-4-2, 2.84).

SEASON SERIES: Mighty Ducks, 2-1.

LAST MEETING: Nov. 12; Coyotes 2-1, OT. At Glendale, Ariz., Michalek scored with 1:51 left in the extra period.

ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Mighty Ducks - 1-5-2 on the road; Coyotes - 6-4-1 at home.

OUTLOOK: The Phoenix Coyotes will look to continue their winning ways when they take on the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim Tuesday night at the Glendale Arena.

The Coyotes are coming off a 5-1 routing of the Columbus Blue Jackets. Mike Johnson, Ladislav Nagy, Zybnek Michalek, Boyd Devereaux, and Geoff Sanderson all scored for Phoenix in Sunday night's victory.  David LeNevue recorded his second career victory making 23 saves on the night.

The Mighty Ducks are coming off a 3-2 loss to the Vancouver Canucks on Sunday evening. A penalty-filled game overshadowed two goals by Vancouver forward Sami Salo, including the game-winner half way through the third period. Anaheim recently traded away superstar Sergei Fedorov to the Columbus Blue Jackets.

This will be the fourth meeting of the season for the two teams. The Ducks hold a 2-1 series lead with the Coyotes winning the last game in overtime.

KEYS TO THE GAME:  The key to success will be a good second period. Lately, the Coyotes have gotten off to great starts, but have had trouble keeping the momentum going in the second period. If the Coyotes can avoid a second period letdown and keep their legs moving, the Mighty Ducks could be in for a long game.

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