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Coyotes return home to host struggling Ducks

by Matthew Mankiewich

DUCKS (6-10-4) at COYOTES (10-6-3)

TV: PRIME (HD), FS- Arizona (HD)

Last 10: Anaheim 1-6-3, Phoenix 6-3-1

Season Series: The Coyotes have a 1-0 edge in the season matchup thanks to a 5-4 win on Oct. 23 at the Honda Center, their third straight against the Ducks. Each team took two of three on the road in 2010-11.

Big Story: The Coyotes open a three-game homestand in the desert after going 3-2-0 on their five-game swing, highlighted by wins in San Jose, Toronto and Buffalo. It's the one-goal losses in Philadelphia and Washington that stick in their craw. The Ducks are trying to get a win any way they can, having lost three straight, six in a row on the road and 13 of 15 -- with 11 of those losses coming by one or two goals.

Team Scope

Ducks: The power play was the third-most effective in the NHL last season, they boast the fourth-leading all-time power-play goal scorer in Teemu Selanne and feature All-Stars Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry on the top unit.

So why has the man-advantage dipped to 21st in the League? Someone has to get those guys the puck and the Duck who's best at doing it, Lubomir Visnovsky, is out with a broken finger. The lack of power-play punch really showed in Sunday's 4-2 loss to the Red Wings, as they failed to convert twice in the final six minutes of regulation, though Selanne did score with the man advantage in the second period.

"The biggest thing, for whatever reason, getting entry into the zone ... that starts with me," defenseman Cam Fowler said in the Orange County Register. "I'm the quarterback up the ice and it's up to me to make plays and get the puck in to the hands of our skilled forwards up front."

"We didn't execute," coach Randy Carlyle said. "We just did not execute the framework that we laid out in place. We have to find a way to get to that."

Coyotes: It's always about the ones that got away, and while the Coyotes logged some impressive wins on their trip, the losses in Washington and Philly were frustrating.

They allowed the winning goal with 18.6 seconds left in Philadelphia and had a 2-0 lead on the Caps thanks to their first two shorthanded goals of the season -- one on a breakaway and the other on a penalty shot -- which should be reasonably safe for a team that was 9-0-3 when scoring first.

These are the Capitals at home, though, and they turned things around quickly, thanks to a pair of turnovers. Then a couple of unfortunate penalty calls set up a 5-on-3 for the Caps, who broke an 0-for-22 schneid when Brooks Laich scored the game-winner.

"We should've kept going after them," Lauri Korpikoski said following his first two-goal game since a 5-2 win in Anaheim on March 13. "... It was a long road trip but that's no excuse. It kind of slipped through our hands."

Who's Hot: Selanne has two goals and two assists in his last three. Andrew Cogliano has two goals and an assist in his last two games. Perry has five points in his last six games and seven in his last nine, but has only one multi-point game all season, a goal and an assist on Oct. 27 in Minnesota. … Radim Vrbata scored in Washington to go with his two goals in Buffalo.

Injury Report: Visnovsky's broken finger will keep him out three more weeks at least, while George Parros (detached retina) is expected back a week sooner. … On the Coyotes' side, Michal Rozsival (upper body) is skating on his own but remains on injured reserve. Daymond Langkow missed six games due to a death in the family but should be back in the lineup on Wednesday.

Stat Pack: The Coyotes are the least-penalized team in the NHL, and their 87.5 percent penalty-kill rate is good for fifth in the League. … The Coyotes' power play is no better than the Ducks' at a 27th-ranked 13.1 percent. … The Ducks have scored more than once with the man advantage in only two games this season. They did it 18 times last season. … The Ducks have been held scoreless in the first period of their last five games.

Puck Drop: "We are in a situation where we have to play ourselves out of it and that includes me. I just have to keep playing and we have to lead by example." -- Getzlaf on the need for the top line to lead the Ducks out of their current funk

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