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Ducks looking for 10th straight win facing Coyotes

by John Kreiser

COYOTES (19-10-8) at DUCKS (27-7-5)


Last 10: Phoenix 3-3-4; Anaheim 9-0-1

Season series: The Anaheim Ducks have won the first three of their five games against the Phoenix Coyotes, including two at Honda Center.

Big story: The NHL's hottest team comes home after sweeping a four-game swing through the East. A victory against Phoenix will give Anaheim the first 10-game winning streak in its history.

Team Scope:

Coyotes: Ten years after opening Arena with a loss to the Nashville Predators on Dec. 27, 2003, Phoenix did a little better Friday. The Coyotes didn't win, but the 4-3 shootout loss to the San Jose Sharks did earn them a much-needed point, enough to move into Stanley Cup Playoff position in the Western Conference.

"We were up, we were down, we battled back, and when you get to the shootout anything can happen," said forward David Moss, who scored two of the Coyotes' goals. "We're playing a lot of close games and you'd like to get the two points, but we're right around it."

Ducks: Anaheim is playing tag with the Chicago Blackhawks in the race for the NHL's best record. Chicago has 60 points, one more than the Ducks, but Anaheim has a game in hand. Another advantage for the Ducks is the schedule: 26 of their remaining 43 games are at Honda Center, where they've taken home 28 of 30 possible points.

The Ducks' nine-game winning streak is two games longer than the previous franchise record.

"We've got to continue to improve, and get better," coach Bruce Boudreau told the media after practice Friday. "If we continue to improve and get better, we're going to be fine. But if we stay the same, then we're not going to be fine, because the last half of the year the better teams always get better. That's why the hockey in March and April is so much better than it is in October. Our focus is on getting better."

Who's hot: Coyotes forward Radim Vrbata has a goal in two of the past three games. … Ducks captain Ryan Getzlaf has five points in the past two games and leads the team with 44.

Injury report: Phoenix forward Shane Doan (illness) and defenseman Zbynek Michalek (hip) are out. … Anaheim defensemen Luca Sbisa (hand) and Sheldon Souray (wrist), and goaltender Viktor Fasth (lower body) are out.

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