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Coyotes-Ducks Preview

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After benefiting from an early-season schedule heavy on home games, the Anaheim Ducks have begun to struggle lately at the Honda Center.

They look to avoid their third straight loss Sunday when they host the Phoenix Coyotes, a team they have defeated seven consecutive times.

Anaheim (13-2-5) has already played 15 home games - second-most in the NHL - and has gone 8-1-4 there.

The Ducks have dropped their last two games at the Honda Center, however, losing 7-4 to Philadelphia on Wednesday and 4-3 in a shootout to Chicago on Friday.

Anaheim had a 3-1 lead over the Blackhawks, but failed to put the game away.

"I think we played good enough to win the game, but they got some weird goals," said Teemu Selanne, who had a goal and an assist to give him four goals and seven assists in his last seven games. "The one point is very important, and we're still playing very well. So that's really what matters."

Selanne, who spent his first four NHL seasons for the Coyotes (6-13-0) franchise when it was the Winnipeg Jets, has scored at least one point in each of Anaheim's seven straight victories over Phoenix - two of them this season. He had a goal and two assists in a 6-2 Ducks win Nov. 3 at the Honda Center.

Anaheim is 12-0-1 with a tie against the Coyotes since Nov. 9, 2003.

Starting goalie Jean-Sebastien Giguere 11-6-1 with a tie, a 2.18 goals-against average and two shutouts in his career against Phoenix, although backup Ilya Bryzgalov has been in net for both meetings this season.

After winning consecutive games for the first time in 2006-07, the Coyotes lost to Los Angeles 5-3 on Saturday. Phoenix overcame a 3-0 deficit to tie the game in the third period, but the Kings' Craig Conroy scored the go-ahead goal with 11 minutes remaining. Scott Thornton added an empty-netter at 19:40 of the third to seal the defeat.

"It was a tough loss," Coyotes coach Wayne Gretzky said. "We made a nice comeback, but it's disappointing because we didn't get more out of it. I feel really bad for my guys in there because I thought they gave a real honest effort out there and they deserved better."

Coyotes center Yanic Perreault scored in the second period on Saturday, and has been a pleasant surprise since signing as a free agent on Oct. 29. He leads the Coyotes with five goals, despite playing in just seven games.

Perreault also has four goals in his last four games against the Ducks.

Goaltender Curtis Joseph has taken the loss in both meetings against Anaheim this season, and has lost four straight games to the Ducks overall. He is 14-15 with a tie and a 2.67 GAA in his career versus Anaheim.

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