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Game #26 Preview: Arizona vs. Anaheim

Tonight marks the teams' first meeting since the regular season opener; Coyotes begin a 3-in-4 stretch

by Alex Kinkopf @AEKinkopf / Game Preview

GAME #26: ARIZONA (14-8-3) vs. ANAHEIM (11-11-3)

7:30 PM MST - Gila River Arena | Glendale, AZ

TV: Fox Sports Arizona Plus (Matt McConnell, Tyson Nash, Todd Walsh, Jody Jackson)

Radio: Fox Sports 910 AM Phoenix (Bob Heethuis, Paul Bissonnette)

Referees: Ghislain Hebert #22, Kyle Rehman #10

Linesmen: Ryan Galloway #82, Ryan Gibbons #58

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ARIZONA VS. ANAHEIM

The Coyotes host the Anaheim Ducks tonight at Gila River Arena, marking the second of the teams' four scheduled meetings this season.

Anaheim will return to Gila River Arena on January 2; Arizona will play the season series finale at Honda Center on January 29.

Tonight begins a stretch of three games in four nights for the Coyotes, who will have the Thanksgiving holiday off while traveling to Vegas for Friday's game against the Golden Knights.

The Coyotes are coming off of a 4-3 shootout loss to the Edmonton Oilers on Sunday night, their first defeat suffered in a shootout this season. It served as just the team's second loss when leading after two periods of play; they are now 10-0-2 in such games.

The Ducks slayed the NHL's proverbial dragon on Monday, snapping the New York Islanders' 17-game point streak with a 3-0 win on home ice. The Ducks' win also snapped their own three-game losing streak; they have dropped eight of their last 10 games (2-5-3).

"I watched their game on Monday, they played excellent," head coach Rick Tocchet said. "Geztlaf's Getzlaf, heck of a player, big body; Gibson, world-class goalie, their defensemen are mobile. They've got pieces there, and some young guys they're implementing, they're right in the thick of things."

*UPDATE (3:15 PM): Darcy Kuemper will start for the Coyotes, Antti Raanta is feeling ill. Eric Comrie will serve as Kuemper's back-up.

Lawson Crouse , who remains day-to-day, recovering from general soreness after his collision into the end board Saturday in Los Angeles, is not expected to play. No changes are anticipated to be made to the lineup the team used Sunday against Edmonton.

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THREE THINGS

SOLID STARTER: Darcy Kuemper, set to make his 17th start of the season tonight due to Antti Raanta being under the weather, leads the NHL with a 1.98 GAA and ranks second among qualified goaltenders with a .934 SV%. He is also tied for the league-lead in shutouts with two. The tandem of Kuemper and Raanta have combined for a team 2.28 GA/G, which ranks first in the NHL. The Coyotes have surrendered a total of 57 goals through 25 games played, tied with the Boston Bruins for the second fewest in the league.

PACIFIC SPECIFIC: The Coyotes' intra-division stretch continues tonight and throughout the remainder of November; all three of the month's remaining games will come against Pacific Division opponents to finish a stretch of 7-of-8 games against division counterparts. Arizona has posted a 5-1-2 record against Pacific opponents this season, its lone regulation loss coming against the Ducks on October 3.

ELEVEN IN ALL: 11 players on the Coyotes' roster have appeared in all 25 of the team's games played thus far, and 15 have played in at least 23 games. "For me, this is my third year here, and It's the consistency [with that]," head coach Rick Tocchet said. "When you have guys in the lineup every night, it helps with the continuity of our game, and even for a player that's just coming into the lineup for a game or two, they can really just mesh in with those guys, so it really helps."

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LAST TIME AROUND

October 3, 2019 - Arizona (1) at Anaheim (2)

The previous meeting between these teams marked the opening of the 2018-19 season, the Coyotes falling short in a 2-1 loss to the Anaheim Ducks at Honda Center.

Derek Stepan evened the score midway through the second period, finishing off a sharply executed odd-man rush to net the Coyotes' first goal of the season. The Ducks took a 2-1 lead in the final moments of the second period, a lead they'd ultimately hold.

Darcy Kuemper stopped 27 of the 29 shots he faced in the loss.

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NUMBER TO KNOW

EIGHT HUNDRED (800)

Phil Kessel will play in his 800th consecutive game tonight, a streak that began on November 3, 2009 as a member of the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Kessel's games played streak is currently the third longest active streak in the NHL; he trails only Patrick Marleau (809) and Keith Yandle (821).

He comes into the evening with 14 points (4G, 10A) on the year, and most recently scored in the Coyotes' 3-2 win over the Los Angeles Kings on Saturday afternoon. Kessel has 22 points in 17 career games against the Anaheim Ducks, including the primary assist on Derek Stepan's tally on opening night.

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QUICK HITS

  • Alex Goligoski is tied for second on the Coyotes in points (14) and has 20 points (5G, 15A) in 40 career games against the Ducks.
  • Derek Stepan is one assist shy of 300 in his NHL career.
  • Jakob Silfverberg leads Anaheim in points (18) and goals (9).
  • The Coyotes' team 2.28 GA/G leads the NHL.
  • John Gibson is tied for the fifth-highest career SV% (.920) among all-time NHL goaltenders with at least 200 games played.
  • The Coyotes are 9-0-1 this season when scoring at least one power play goal.
  • Antti Raanta has not allowed a five-on-five goal in 127:49.
  • Arizona owns a 53-65-5-11 all-time record against Anaheim.

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Lead Photo Credit: Norm Hall - Getty Images // Footer Photo Credit: Norm Hall - Getty Images // GIF Highlight Footage: Fox Sports Arizona

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