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Game #52 Preview: Arizona at Anaheim

Antti Raanta gets the start as the Coyotes return to action tonight at Honda Center

by Alex Kinkopf @AEKinkopf / Game Preview

GAME #52: ARIZONA (26-20-5) at ANAHEIM (19-25-5)

8:00 PM MST - Honda Center | Anaheim, CA

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

Radio: Fox Sports 910 AM Phoenix (Bob Heethuis)

Referees: Tom Chmielewski #18, Jake Brenk #26

Linesmen: Kiel Murchison #79, Kory Nagy #97

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ARIZONA AT ANAHEIM

The Coyotes return from the bye week and All-Star break to set out on the remains of their regular season schedule tonight against the Anaheim Ducks at Honda Center, where they opened the campaign on October 3. 

This marks fourth and final meeting between teams this year.

Tonight serves as the Coyotes' first game in 10 days; their previous match-up came on January 18 against the Edmonton Oilers, a 7-3 loss.

Overall, the Coyotes had a full seven days away from the rink before getting back onto the ice on Sunday - they have three practices under their belt as they head into this evening's tilt.

"Honestly, I thought the break came at a good time for our group," Derek Stepan said. "I thought before the break we were kind of inconsistent with our game, so we used the break and had three solid days of practice to lead into a 31-game sprint. I think guys are excited and energized and we're ready to go."

The Ducks are coming off of a 4-2 loss to the San Jose Sharks on Tuesday night; they had won consecutive games prior to the All-Star break. Anaheim has dropped five of its last seven games (2-5-0), eight of its last 11 (3-7-1), and 12 of its last 16 (4-11-1).

"I think guys are itching to play," Rick Tocchet said following Tuesday's practice. "Our energy level tank should be full now, we should be hungry and ready to play."

Antti Raanta gets the Coyotes' net to make his 22nd start of the season, Tocchet confirmed following Tuesday's practice. Adin Hill will serve as back up while Darcy Kuemper progresses back to full health. Brad Richardson (day-to-day) and Barrett Hayton will both be out of the lineup as they continue to rehabilitate.

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THREE THINGS

HEY, NEIGHBOR(S): Three of the Coyotes' first four games back from the break are against Pacific Division opponents. Three teams in the division, including Arizona, are tied with 57 points, while the Calgary Flames (58) and Vancouver Canucks (60) lead the group. "We're playing some division teams right away, you shouldn't have to [try to] be motivated right now," Tocchet said. "We're going right into a division game against Anaheim and the juices should be flowing."

FOUR SCORE: Both Taylor Hall and Christian Dvorak enter the night riding four-game point streaks. Hall has totaled seven points (4G, 3A) during his stretch, Dvorak with four points (2G, 2A). Dvorak has three goals in three games against the Ducks this season while Hall has an assist in his lone game played against Anaheim this year, that assist coming on one of Dvorak's three goals. Hall has fared well against the Ducks throughout his career, putting up 18 points (6G, 12A) in 27 games against Anaheim.

ROAD REBOUND: The Coyotes will certainly look to rekindle some of the road magic that helped drive their successful first-half of the season tonight in Anaheim. Despite entering the evening on a season-long four-game road skid (0-4-0), Arizona is still tied for the third-highest road point total in the NHL this season with 31. The Coyotes' 14 road wins are tied for the second-most in the league. The Ducks are 11-9-3 on home ice at Honda Center this season.

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LAST TIME AROUND

JANUARY 2, 2020 - ARIZONA (4) vs. ANAHEIM (2)

The Coyotes rallied for three unanswered third period goals in the teams' previous meeting on January 2 at Gila River Arena to secure a 4-2 win over the Ducks.

Lawson Crouse opened the scoring in the first, though that was followed by consecutive tallies from Anaheim. Christian Dvorak, Brad Richardson, and Carl Soderberg scored in a 7:23 span in the third to give the Coyotes a commanding grasp on the game.

Antti Raanta stopped 26 of the 28 shots he faced in the win.

Arizona is 2-1-0 against Anaheim this season.

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NUMBER TO KNOW

TWO HUNDRED (200)

Should Christian Fischer play tonight, he will become the eighth player on the Coyotes roster to play in his 200th NHL game this season.

Through the first 199 games of his NHL career, the 22-year-old power forward has amassed 62 points (34G, 28A) and has eight points (5G, 3A) in 42 games played this season.

Fischer has registered a total of four assists in his last four games played against the Ducks dating back to March of last season.

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QUICK HITS

  • Clayton Keller leads the Coyotes in road scoring with 19 points (7G, 12A).
  • The Ducks are 41-16-10 all-time against the Coyotes at Honda Center.
  • The Coyotes are 20-5-1 this year when scoring the first goal of a given game.
  • Adam Henrique and Jakob Silfverberg co-lead the Ducks in goals scored with 15.
  • Phil Kessel has 23 points (9G, 14A) in 19 career games against the Ducks.
  • Anaheim is 1-20-1 this year when trailing after two periods of play.
  • Ryan Getzlaf has 65 points (19G, 46A) on 72 career games against the Coyotes.
  • Arizona owns a 55-65-5-11 all-time record against Anaheim.

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Lead Photo Credit: Debora Robinson - NHLI via Getty Images // Footer Photo Credit: Sean M. Haffey - Getty Images // GIF Highlight Footage: Fox Sports Arizona

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