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Coyotes back home while Senators conclude long trip

by Brian Hunter /

SENATORS (1-2-2) at COYOTES (4-2-0)


Season series: First of two meetings this season between the Ottawa Senators and Phoenix Coyotes. In their last matchup, back on Jan. 24, 2012, Mike Smith made 32 saves and Radim Vrbata had the decisive goal as the Coyotes won 3-2 in Phoenix.

Big story: A season-opening six game road trip comes to an end Tuesday for the Senators, who likely can't wait to see the friendly confines of Canadian Tire Centre after losing four of their first five. Even still, a win against the Coyotes would allow them to capture six of a possible 12 points on this journey.

Team Scope:

Senators: If not for some stellar goaltending by Robin Lehner, a tough weekend for Ottawa could have been downright ugly. Lehner stopped 47 of 50 shots in a 3-2 loss Saturday to the San Jose Sharks and 45 of 47 after coming on early in relief of Craig Anderson in a 4-1 loss Sunday to the Anaheim Ducks.

The Senators allowed 56 total shots Sunday, a franchise record, and the lone bright spot was Bobby Ryan scoring in his return against the team that traded him in the offseason.

"It felt good," Ryan said. "I've played here a long time, scored a lot of goals here. They all feel the same in this building, but this one meant a little more. I just wish I could have five more."

Coyotes: This is the first game back at Arena for Phoenix since its season opener on Oct. 3. The Coyotes return home after their own lengthy road trip which saw them drop the first two and then recover to win three in a row, culminating with a 5-3 win Sunday afternoon over the Carolina Hurricanes.

Rob Klinkhammer needed just 22 seconds of the third period to snap a 3-all tie with his second goal of the game and Shane Doan later added insurance when he converted on the power play for his first of the season.

"We've stabilized our game, for sure," coach Dave Tippett said. "When you go on the road for five games, your backs are against the wall. Winning three out of five road games is going in the right direction. Hopefully we can go home and keep playing the right way."

Who's hot: Ryan has goals in three straight for the Senators and a four-game point streak overall (3-2-5). … Coyotes defenseman Derek Morris has two goals and two assists during a three-game point streak.

Injury report: Neither team has any significant injuries to report heading into Tuesday's game.

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