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Ducks host Coyotes in playoff tune-up

by John Kreiser /

COYOTES (20-18-9) at DUCKS (30-11-6)


Last 10: Phoenix 4-3-3; Anaheim 5-4-1

Season series: It's the last of four meetings; the home team won each of the first three, though both of the Phoenix Coyotes' wins came in shootouts.

Big story: The Anaheim Ducks will tune up for their playoff opener next week while the Phoenix Coyotes prepare for their regular-season finale after missing the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the first time in Dave Tippett's four seasons as coach.

Team Scope:

Coyotes: The Coyotes played an entertaining home finale against the Colorado Avalanche on Friday night, twice rallying from one-goal deficits before losing 5-4 in a shootout. Antoine Vermette scored twice and Keith Yandle set up three goals.

While the fans at Arena might have been entertained, Tippett definitely wasn't.

"Game like that one have no meaning," Tippett said. "Even in an exhibition game, you can evaluate players but here you're just playing. It's entertainment, good for the fans, lot of action. But I wouldn't put that up there as a hard, tactical game."

Ducks: Anaheim is back home for its regular-season finale after an excellent four-day stretch in Western Canada. The Ducks won back-to-back games against the Edmonton Oilers before beating the Vancouver Canucks 3-1 on Thursday.

"It was huge," defenseman Bryan Allen told the Ducks' website when asked about the trip. "Any time a team knows they're going to be in the playoffs, they try to play the same way and really stick to a system because that's really what's going to pay off down the road."

Who's hot: Yandle has a goal and three assists in the Coyotes' past two games and is the team leader in points with 28. … Anaheim goaltender Jonas Hiller has won his past two starts, allowing one goal in each game.

Injury report: Derek Morris left the Coyotes game on Friday with a lower-body injury. … The Ducks may give some of their regulars the night off. Forward Bobby Ryan has been battling an illness and defenseman Luca Sbisa (lower body) didn't play Thursday.

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