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GAME: Phoenix Coyotes (2-4-1) at Edmonton Oilers (3-3-0).

TIME: Tuesday, 9 p.m. EDT.

Few events could upstage the return of Wayne Gretzky to Edmonton as coach of the Phoenix Coyotes. A jersey-retiring ceremony to honor another of the Oilers' all-time greats is one of them.

Paul Coffey's No. 7 will be raised to the rafters when the Oilers and Coyotes face off Tuesday night at Rexall Place.

Coffey played 21 seasons in the NHL, winning four Stanley Cups and three Norris trophies as one of the best defensemen in league history. His 209 goals, 460 assists and 669 points with Edmonton are all good for fifth on the team's all-time lists.

Coffey also played with Pittsburgh, Los Angeles, Detroit, Hartford, Philadelphia, Carolina and Boston. He finished his career 10th on the NHL's all-time scoring list with 396 goals and 1,135 assists and was enshrined in the Hall of Fame in 2004.

Coffey's number will be the fifth retired by Edmonton, joining Al Hamilton (3), Jari Kurri (17), Grant Fuhr (31) and Gretzky (99).

Edmonton is coming off a 3-0 loss Saturday night to provincial rival Calgary. The Oilers have dropped three straight after beginning the season with three consecutive wins.

Edmonton scored 12 goals during its winning streak, but has managed only three in the current skid.

"We can't expect to compete with the teams that are considered among the tops in our conference, the tops in our league, if we're going to come out with slow starts like we have been," Oilers center Michael Peca said.

Gretzky brings the Coyotes into the building where he forged his career as the greatest hockey player of all time. But since posting on a win on April 11, 1997, the Coyotes have won just two of 14 games in Edmonton, getting outscored 51-38 in that span.

Phoenix gave Gretzky his first road win with a 2-0 shutout of the Flames on Monday.

Curtis Joseph made 25 saves for his 44th career shutout and Mike Ricci and Boyd Devereaux scored third-period goals for the Coyotes, who had lost three straight, one coming in a shootout.

Joseph, who played three seasons with the Oilers from 1995-98, is 17-5-3 with a 2.39 goals-against average and two shutouts against them. Joseph is two wins shy of 400.

STANDINGS (through Oct. 16): Coyotes - 5 points, 4th place (tied), 3 PB, Pacific Division. Oilers - 6 points, 3rd place, 3 PB, Northwest Division.

TEAM LEADERS: Coyotes - Ladislav Nagy, Paul Mara and Oleg Saprykin, 2 goals and 4 points; seven tied with 2 assists; Tyson Nash, 25 PIM. Oilers - Raffi Torres, 4 goals; Jarret Stoll, 5 assists; Shawn Horcoff and Stoll, 6 points; Ethan Moreau, 16 PIM.

SPECIAL TEAMS (through Oct.16): Coyotes - Power play: 20.0 percent (7 for 35), 7th in NHL. Penalty killing: 76.6 percent (23 for 30), 26th. Oilers - Power play: 14.6 percent (6 for 41), 18th. Penalty killing: 82.9 percent (34 for 41), 18th.

GOALTENDERS: Coyotes - Joseph (1-2-0, 0 SO, 2.01 GAA); David Leneveu (0-2-1, 3.30). Oilers - Jussi Markkanen (2-2-0, 2.16); Ty Conklin (1-1-0, 3.48).

2003-04 SEASON SERIES: Oilers, 3-0-1.

LAST MEETING: March 28, 2004. Oilers, 4-2. At Edmonton, Alberta, Igor Ulanov and Petr Nedved scored 29 seconds apart midway through the third period to lift the Oilers.

ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Coyotes - 1-2-0 on the road; Oilers - 1-1-2 at home.

Associated Press
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