Mighty Ducks-Coyotes Preview
GAME: Anaheim Mighty Ducks (21-25-8-8) at Phoenix Coyotes (20-24-14-3).
TIME: Monday, 9 p.m. EST.
Just when the Anaheim Mighty Ducks looked like they were getting their act
together, they have once again lost their way.
The Mighty Ducks will try to shake off back-to-back losses and stay focused
on a run to the playoffs when they take on the defenseless Phoenix Coyotes at
Anaheim, the defending Western Conference champion, sleepwalked through the
first four months of the season before winning five of six from Feb. 4-18.
However, the Ducks have since dropped two straight, including a 4-0 defeat in
Dallas on Sunday.
"We didn't respond at all," Anaheim coach Mike Babcock said. "The bottom
line is their best players were so much better than ours, it wasn't even funny.
I hate to say it, but this is the playoffs for us."
The Ducks sit nine points out of the final playoff spot in the Western
Conference with 20 games to play.
Anaheim managed just 14 shots in Sunday's loss, which came two days after an
overtime defeat to Nashville at home.
Defenseman Martin Skoula, acquired in a trade with Colorado on Saturday,
made his debut for Anaheim, and was minus-one in 20 minutes, 23 seconds.
Reigning Conn Smythe Trophy winner Jean-Sebastien Giguere, who won just
seven of his first 33 appearances, is 4-3 with a 2.13 goals-against average and
.926 save percentage in seven starts since Feb. 11.
The Coyotes are coming off an embarrassing 8-2 home loss to Nashville on
Saturday. The eight goals against were a season high for Phoenix, which has won
just two of its last 13 games (2-9-1-1) and is 10 points out of a playoff spot
with 21 games left.
"It can only go up from rock bottom," forward Jeff Taffe said.
To make matters worse, the Coyotes found out Saturday they will play the
rest of the season without leading goal scorer Ladislav Nagy. The 24-year-old
left wing, who had 24 goals in 55 games, is out with a dislocated left wrist.
STANDINGS: Mighty Ducks - 58 points, 4th place, 16 PB, Pacific Division.
Coyotes - 57 points, 5th place, 17 PB, Pacific Division.
TEAM LEADERS: Mighty Ducks - Sergei Fedorov, 21 goals, 29 assists and 50
points; Garrett Burnett, 98 PIM. Coyotes - Nagy, 24 goals; Shane Doan, 39
assists and 60 points; Andrei Nazarov, 101 PIM.
SPECIAL TEAMS (through Feb. 21): Mighty Ducks - Power play: 17.0 percent (40
for 235), 10th in NHL. Penalty killing: 84.4 percent (216 for 256), 16th.
Coyotes - Power play: 15.4 percent (41 for 267), 19th. Penalty killing: 81.8
percent (251 for 307), 25th.
GOALTENDERS: Mighty Ducks - Giguere (11-24-4, 2 SO, 2.71 GAA); Martin Gerber
(10-9-4, 2, 2.28). Coyotes - Brian Boucher (9-11-7, 5, 2.54); Jean-Marc
Pelletier (1-0-0, 0, 3.33).
SEASON SERIES: Coyotes, 2-1.
LAST MEETING: Feb. 11; Mighty Ducks, 5-3. At Anaheim, Vaclav Prospal had a
goal and three assists and Fedorov got his 19th goal in the win for the Ducks.
Mike Comrie, acquired in a trade that sent goalie Sean Burke to Philadelphia,
had two assists and won seven of 11 faceoffs in his Coyotes debut.
ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Mighty Ducks - 7-18-2-4 on the road; Coyotes - 10-13-4-2