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Plenty of fresh faces as Coyotes host Ducks

by Dave Lozo
DUCKS (30-26-7) at COYOTES (38-22-5)

Last 10: Anaheim 6-4-0; Phoenix 6-4-0

Season series:
This is the sixth and final meeting between the Pacific Division foes. Phoenix has taken 3 of 5 in the series.

Big Story: If there was ever a time you wanted to buy a program, this is it. The Coyotes and Ducks combined to make 12 trades on Deadline Day. It's going to be a lot of fresh faces squaring off in new uniforms tonight.

Team Scope:

Ducks --
Now five points out of the eighth and final playoff spot, the Ducks shook things up on Deadline Day. No move was bigger than the one that sent defenseman Ryan Whitney to Edmonton for blueliner Lubomir Visnovsky.

The moves didn't pay off right away, as the Ducks fell to the Avalanche 4-3 Wednesday night. They let a two-goal lead slip away en route to losing at home for the first time in 11 games.

"We worked hard before the break to get into a position where we could at least chase a playoff spot," captain Scott Niedermayer said. "That's why we're so disappointed we let that one slip away. We were skating and taking care of the puck in the first period. It just all of a sudden seemed to go their way."

Coyotes -- Many were surprised when Phoenix made seven moves on Deadline Day, the biggest of which saw Wojtek Wolski arrive from Colorado.

But he paid immediate dividends by scoring the game-winning goal with 22 seconds left Thursday against his former team. Lee Stempniak, picked up from Toronto, also scored in the Coyotes' 3-1 victory.

"Nice to see contributions from the new players, but, right now, this is a work in progress," coach Dave Tippett said. "Overall, we have to play better. We'll continue to tweak things until we get it right."

Who's Hot --
For the Ducks, Jason Blake and Teemu Selanne shot out of the break with a goal and an assist in their first games since the Olympics. … Coyotes goalie Ilya Bryzgalov has allowed three goals or less in his last five starts.

Injury Report --
Ducks right wing Joffrey Lupul (back) is out indefinitely. … The Coyotes will be without right wing Scottie Upshall (knee) and defenseman Kurt Sauer (upper body).

Stat Pack -- Bryzgalov is tied for the franchise goalie season victory record with 33. ... In their loss to the Avalanche on Thursday, the Ducks played with just five defensemen because of all the trades the team made that day.

Puck Drop --
"Nice to be thrown right in the mix. Great being part of a winning team." -- Stempniak, who played for the Toronto Maple Leafs before coming to Phoenix at the deadline.

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