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Blue Jackets-Coyotes Preview @NHL
Blue Jackets-Coyotes Preview

GAME: Columbus Blue Jackets (5-15-0) at Phoenix Coyotes (10-10-2).

TIME: Sunday, 8 p.m. EST.

The Columbus Blue Jackets have never won in Arizona. The way they've been playing lately, that slump could be tough to shake.

The Blue Jackets also will try to halt a four-game losing streak when they visit the Coyotes at Glendale Arena.

Since entering the league starting with the 2000-01 season, Columbus is 0-5-3 on the road against the Coyotes and have been outscored by a 24-15 margin there.

The Blue Jackets are winless on the road against eight other teams: the Colorado Avalanche, Dallas Stars, New Jersey Devils, New York Rangers, Ottawa Senators, Philadelphia Flyers, Toronto Maple Leafs and Washington Capitals.

The Blue Jackets lost their fourth in a row, falling 6-3 to the Dallas Stars. Bryan Berard had two power-play goals, and Duvie Westcott added his first NHL goal for the Blue Jackets.

"Scoring three goals on the road and losing is pretty disappointing," coach Gerard Gallant said. "But I was proud of the way the guys battled back and stayed in it."

Columbus has scored more than three goals only once this season, a 4-1 victory Oct. 21 against the San Jose Sharks.

Sergei Fedorov, playing in his second game for Columbus since being acquired Tuesday from the Anaheim Mighty Ducks, earned his first point with his new team by assisting on one of Berard's goals. Seven of Fedorov's 19 career goals against Phoenix have been game-winners.

Phoenix won for the fourth time in seven games Saturday, beating the San Jose Sharks 4-3 in a shootout Saturday. Former Blue Jacket Geoff Sanderson scored the deciding goal in the fourth round of the shootout.

Sanderson was acquired Oct. 8 by Phoenix as part of a five-player deal. The 33-year-old left wing was an original member of the Blue Jackets and a two-time 30-goal scorer for them.

Ladislav Nagy has scored four goals with two assists during a five-game points streak - the longest by a Phoenix player this season.

Nagy also has a four-game points streak against Columbus with three goals and four assists in that span.

STANDINGS (through Nov. 19): Blue Jackets - 10 points, 5th place, 22 PB, Central Division. Coyotes - 22 points, 3rd place, 7 PB, Pacific Division.

TEAM LEADERS: Blue Jackets - David Vyborny, 6 goals; Berard and Manny Malhotra, 10 assists; Berard, 15 points; Jody Shelley, 42 PIM. Coyotes - Mike Leclerc, 8 goals; Paul Mara, 12 assists; Nagy, 17 points; Keith Ballard, 42 PIM.

SPECIAL TEAMS (through Nov. 19): Blue Jackets - Power play: 10 percent (12 for 120), 30th in NHL. Penalty killing: 82.9 percent (117 for 141), 12th (tied). Coyotes - Power play: 18.9 percent (26 for 137), 14th. Penalty killing: 80.6 percent (104 for 129), 21st (tied).

GOALTENDERS: Blue Jackets - Marc Denis (3-10-0, 3.37 GAA); Martin Prusek (2-3-0, 3.47). Coyotes - Curtis Joseph (9-6-0, 2 SO, 2.27); David Leneveu (1-4-2, 3.10).

2003-04 SEASON SERIES: Coyotes, 2-0-2.

LAST MEETING: Feb. 20, 2004; Coyotes, 3-2. At Phoenix, Jeff Taffe had a goal and an assist for the Coyotes, who erased a two-goal deficit.

ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Blue Jackets - 1-9-0 on the road; Coyotes - 5-4-1 at home.

Associated Press
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