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Columbus Blue Jackets vs. Phoenix Coyotes @NHLdotcom
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GAME: Columbus Blue Jackets (17-30-8-4) at Phoenix Coyotes (19-23-14-3).

TIME: Friday, 9 p.m. EST.

The Columbus Blue Jackets look to snap an eight-game road winless streak in a place they've never won when they visit the Phoenix Coyotes.

Columbus has won just three of its 27 road games this season, and is winless in its last eight away from home (0-5-3) after falling 3-1 to the Anaheim Mighty Ducks on Wednesday.

The Blue Jackets haven't won on the road since a 3-2 overtime victory over the San Jose Sharks on Jan. 8.

"Obviously, we're not happy with our road record (3-18-4-2), but there are a lot of encouraging signs these last 15 road games," Columbus goaltender Marc Denis said after Wednesday's loss.

"It's kind of a weird situation. We're playing the best road hockey we've played in four years as a franchise, but we just don't seem to be able to do what we do at home. We're a pretty confident and comfortable team at home and we're getting the wins. But when we get on the road, it's close, but no cigar - like tonight."

Columbus will be trying to end its slide in Phoenix, where it is 0-4-3 since joining the NHL for the 2000-01 season.

The Coyotes, however, have struggled on their home ice. Phoenix is 9-12-4-2 at home and only 3-8-2-1 at the new Glendale Arena, where it plays its next five games.

Phoenix is coming off a two-game road trip, losing 4-2 to the St. Louis Blues and 5-2 to the Detroit Red Wings. The Coyotes have won just one of their last 11 contests (1-8-1-1) to fall 10 points out of the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference.

"We have to find a way to get the job done at home," Phoenix coach Bob Francis said. "If we maintain our work ethic, eventually the results will turn in our favor, but we need to have a solid homestand starting on Friday."

The Coyotes are 2-0-2 in their last four games against the Blue Jackets.

STANDINGS (through Feb. 18): Blue Jackets - 46 points, 4th place, 32 PB, Central Division. Coyotes - 55 points, 5th place, 17 PB, Pacific Division.

TEAM LEADERS: Blue Jackets - Rick Nash, 31 goals and 42 points; Todd Marchant, 21 assists; Jody Shelley, 166 PIM. Coyotes - Ladislav Nagy, 24 goals; Shane Doan, 38 assists and 59 points; Andrei Nazarov, 94 PIM.

SPECIAL TEAMS (through Feb. 18): Blue Jackets - Power play: 14.4 percent (43 for 299), 24th in NHL. Penalty killing: 83.2 percent (193 for 232), 21st. Coyotes - Power play: 15.3 percent (39 for 255), 20th. Penalty killing: 81.6 percent (240 for 294), 25th.

GOALTENDERS: Blue Jackets - Denis (15-25-7, 3 SO, 2.47 GAA); Pascal Leclaire (no appearances). Coyotes - Brian Boucher (9-10-7, 5, 2.41); Jean-Marc Pelletier (no appearances).

SEASON SERIES: Coyotes, 1-0-2.

LAST MEETING: Feb. 2; 3-3. At Phoenix, David Vyborny converted a penalty shot and Anders Eriksson scored twice as the Blue Jackets rallied twice to earn the draw.

ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Blue Jackets - 3-18-4-2 on the road; Coyotes - 9-12-4-2 at home.

Associated Press
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