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Coyotes, Wings set to meet for third time

by Eric Goodman
COYOTES (4-5-4) at RED WINGS (8-3-1)

Last 10 -- Phoenix 3-4-3; Detroit 6-3-1

Season series -- This is the third of four meetings between the Coyotes and Wings this season. The Red Wings prevailed, 2-1 in overtime at Phoenix on Oct. 16, while the Coyotes managed a 4-2 victory at Detroit on Oct. 28.

Big Story -- The 'Yotes attempt to turn it around after dropping three of their last four games, while the Wings aim to win their fourth over the last five games. Although the season is still young, Phoenix can claim a winning record over the Wings for the 2010-11 season series with a regulation victory on Monday.

Team Scope:
Coyotes -- Phoenix is trying to get it together after missing captain Shane Doan (lower-body injury) and defenseman Ed Jovanovski (illness) on Saturday against Pittsburgh. The Coyotes appeared poised to give the Penguins a run for their money with an early 2-0 lead, but they were outscored 3-1 in the second and eventually fell in the shootout for the 4-3 loss.

"We did a lot of good things, we just have to learn to play with a lead," said center Eric Belanger after Saturday's game. "After it was 2-0, we were just sitting back a little too much instead of going after the next goal."

Red Wings -- Detroit returns to Joe Louis Arena where it will play its next six games. Home is exactly where the Wings want to be as they have reeled off a 4-1-0 record in the Motor City this season.

The Wings had won three straight before Saturday's 6-4 loss at Vancouver, in which defenseman Niklas Kronwall scored two goals. Despite the defeat, Detroit managed a 2-1-0 record during its recent three-game trip through Western Canada.

"We set ourselves up well and basically limited them to very little, and then we take penalties in the third and gifted a couple of goals," said Detroit coach Mike Babcock after Saturday's game.

Who's Hot --  Center Eric Belanger had a goal and an assist in the Coyotes' loss to the Penguins on Saturday...For the Wings, Pavel Datsyuk (4-7-11) and Nicklas Lidstrom (1-10-11) are in the midst of eight-game points streaks.

Injury Report -- Doan is considered week-to-week for the Coyotes and won't make the trip to either Detroit or Chicago this week, while Jovanovski is listed as day-to-day...Detroit backup goalie Chris Osgood is sidelined with a groin injury. Forward Kris Draper (sports hernia surgery) and defenseman Brian Rafalski (arthroscopic knee surgery) remain on injured reserve.

Stat Pack -- As of Sunday night, the Red Wings were second in the Western Conference with an average of 3.25 goals per game.

Puck Drop -- Detroit goalie Jimmy Howard had been red-hot before Saturday's affair, stopping 45 or 47 shots in two straight games since returning from back issues, but even he admitted to losing focus at Vancouver.

"Just one of those nights," said Howard, who made 28 saves. "You're trying not to let your brain go to mush back there."
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