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Punchless offense cost Coyotes a playoff berth

by Jerry Brown
GLENDALE, Ariz. -- The Phoenix Coyotes are mathematically eliminated from the Stanley Cup Playoffs, and the most important number that led to their fate is zero.

Zero goals. Zero offense. Zero chance.

The Coyotes were shut out for the ninth time this season -- and the seventh time in 23 road games -- in a 4-0 loss to the Detroit Red Wings on Monday that slammed the door on their last realistic path to the playoffs. That game looked an awful lot like the game that reduced their postseason chances to long-shot status, a 4-0 home loss to the San Jose Sharks nine days ago.

San Jose and Phoenix meet again Wednesday at Arena, but with a lot less on the line. The Sharks wrapped up their ninth straight playoff appearance with a come-from-behind 3-2 win at the Dallas Stars on Tuesday.

Counting a 1-0 shootout win at San Jose on Feb. 10, the Coyotes have failed to score in regulation in 10 of 45 games in this shortened season. San Jose goalie Antti Niemi has two shutouts in three starts against Phoenix this season.
TJ Galiardi - Joe Thornton - Brent Burns
Patrick Marleau - Logan Couture - Martin Havlat
Raffi Torres - Joe Pavelski - Tommy Wingels
Andrew Desjardins - Scott Gomez - Adam Burish

Matt Irwin - Dan Boyle
Marc-Edouard Vlasic - Justin Braun
Brad Stuart - Scott Hannan

Antti Niemi
Thomas Greiss

Injured: Jason Demers (lower body)
Shane Doan -- Martin Hanzal – Radim Vrbata
Lauri Korpikoski - Antoine Vermette - Mikkel Boedker
Chris Conner - Boyd Gordon - David Moss
Paul Bissonnette – Kyle Chipchura – Alexandre Bolduc
Zbynek Michalek - Oliver Ekman-Larsson
Keith Yandle - David Schlemko
Rostislav Klesla - Michael Stone
Mike Smith
Jason LaBarbera

Injured: Derek Morris, Rob Klinkhammer
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