Poor play on the road has been holding the Phoenix Coyotes back. A trip to Honda Center, though, could give them a spark.
The Coyotes look to hand the Anaheim Ducks their fourth straight home loss and take sole possession of second place in the Pacific Division when the teams continue their season series Sunday night.
Though it is 6-10-3 on the road, Phoenix (19-15-5) is making a run at its first playoff appearance in seven years. The Coyotes won their last road game, 2-1 against Los Angeles on Dec. 26, and appear to have a good chance to win consecutive games away from Jobing.com Arena for the first time this season.
Anaheim (19-15-5) has lost three straight at Honda Center for the second time this season, going 0-2-1. The Ducks haven't lost four in a row at home since a six-game skid (0-4-2) in November 2005.
Anaheim is 10-8-3 at home on the season, losing its first contest there 4-2 to Phoenix on Oct. 12. These teams are tied for second place in the Pacific with 43 points.
Honda Center isn't the only place the Ducks have struggled of late, losing five of their last six (1-3-2) overall. Anaheim fell 5-4 at home in a shootout to Philadelphia on Friday night.
"When you score four goals in a hockey game you expect to win," Ducks coach Randy Carlyle said. "But if we can bottle this intensity, this emotion, this energy and continue to play at this level, we'll make some great strides."
The Niedermayer brothers helped lead Anaheim to a strong effort on offense.
It was a milestone night for Anaheim captain Scott Niedermayer, who was credited with his 500th regular-season assist. It came on his brother Rob Niedermayer's ninth goal of the season.
Andrew Ebbett scored his first NHL goal on his 26th birthday, and Corey Perry and Ryan Getzlaf each had a goal and an assist for the Ducks.
Ebbett was playing in his ninth NHL game and sixth since getting called up from the minors because of an injury to Teemu Selanne.
"We've been working on getting shots to the net and getting two or three guys in front for rebounds," Ebbett said. "It was pretty exciting. It's a good feeling to get that first one over with and not have to worry about it anymore."
Phoenix is also coming off one of its best offensive games of the season, beating the New York Islanders 5-4 on Friday night.
Shane Doan and Olli Jokinen both scored, Zbynek Michalek had a goal and an assist, and Viktor Tikhonov and Joakim Lindstrom each added unassisted goals for the Coyotes.
"It's pucks and people to the net," Doan said. "We've got a lot to do yet and it's something that's a process and we'll be better at it."
Phoenix has lost in regulation twice in its last 12 games, going 7-2-3.
The Coyotes are expected to get No. 1 goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov back for this game after he missed two straight contests with a sore back. Bryzgalov is 4-1-1 with a 2.06 goals-against average in six games versus Anaheim.