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Coyotes head to Colorado after another home loss

by Brian Compton /
COYOTES (24-17-9) at AVALANCHE (25-18-6)


Last 10: Phoenix 5-4-1; Colorado 5-4-1.

Season Series: This is the second of four meetings between the teams. Phoenix earned a 2-0 victory against Colorado on Jan. 6 at the Pepsi Center behind a 34-save performance by Jason LaBarbera.

Big Story: Home cooking isn't available in the desert these days.

In an eight-day span, the Coyotes have lost at home to San Jose, Nashville, Los Angeles and Edmonton. They'll attempt to salvage their final game before the All-Star break on Wednesday night.

While the Coyotes are in sixth place in the Western Conference, they're just two points ahead of No. 9 Minnesota. The top eight teams qualify for the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Team Scope:

Coyotes: Despite a 2-0 lead in the second period on Tuesday night, the Coyotes were unable to hold on as the Edmonton Oilers roared back with three straight goals and Dustin Penner snapped a tie by scoring with 21.3 seconds left in regulation in what ended up being a 4-3 loss at Arena. Phoenix has dropped four straight on home ice.

"It's very disappointing," Coyotes coach Dave Tippett said. "There's some games when you feel like you're committed, you play hard, you do things that allow you to win. Tonight, we didn't do enough of that."

Avalanche: Does Peter Forsberg have one more comeback left in him?

Forsberg was able to step in and skate on a line with Matt Duchene and David Jones during Tuesday's practice. It marked the fourth consecutive day that the Swedish forward has been on the ice, and the second full practice he's had with the Avs.

"Like I said at the press conference in the beginning, I knew Milan Hejduk was going to be out a couple practices and I could fill into his spot," said Forsberg. "I've only had two practices. They're quick, they're fast, and it's going to take at least a couple more days to adjust. I just have to keep working and we'll see what happens after a couple more practices."

Who's Hot: Scottie Upshall scored twice for Phoenix on Tuesday night. He's now tied with Lee Stempniak for the team lead with 14. … Avs defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk has two goals and an assist in the last two games.
Injury Report: Coyotes defenseman Derek Morris (lower body) is day-to-day and Michal Rozsival (lower body) is questionable. David Schlemko (upper body) and Vernon Fiddler (upper body) are out. … Colorado will be without Tomas Fleischmann (blood clot), Peter Mueller (concussion), Kyle Quincey (shoulder) and Ryan O'Reilly (shoulder.

Stat Pack: Avs forward Brandon Yip ended a personal 13-game scoring drought with a pair of goals in Monday's 4-3 win against St. Louis.

Puck Drop: "The other guys were going. I've always said I'm going to play the guys that I think are going to give us the best chance to win. We had other players that were playing well." -- Avs coach Joe Sacco on the benching of Chris Stewart for the third period Monday night
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