Canucks-Coyotes Preview

A return home might be what the Phoenix Coyotes need to

consistently generate some offense and end their longest skid of

the season.

The Coyotes look to avoid a fifth straight loss while trying for

a fourth consecutive victory over the Vancouver Canucks on Thursday

night.

Phoenix (13-13-4) ended its franchise-record three-game stretch

without a goal, but concluded an 0-3-1 trip with a 3-2 loss at Los

Angeles on Tuesday. Shane Doan scored the first of his two in the

third period to snap the Coyotes’ drought of 245 minutes, 32

seconds without a goal.

Doan’s goals were Phoenix’s first during an 0-4-1 road

slide.

“When you haven’t scored in three games, you’re going to get

pretty desperate,” Doan said. “We were desperate enough, but we

didn’t find a way to do it.”

The Coyotes hope they’re able to get it done during a two-game

stop at home, where they have averaged 3.5 non-shootout goals while

winning six of eight. Phoenix went 0 for 12 on the power play

during the recent trip but has scored with the man advantage in

three of the last four at home.

“We’ve got to be ready for Thursday night,” said coach Dave

Tippett, whose team last dropped five straight during an 0-4-1

stretch March 1-8, 2012. “The frustration we played with (Tuesday),

we can (turn) that energy into positive energy Thursday.”

Doan has a chance to set a career high with goals in five

straight home contests, but he’s been held without a point in his

last two and four of his last five there against the Canucks. He

also failed to register a point during the Coyotes’ 4-2 win at

Vancouver on Feb. 26, when Kyle Chipchura scored twice.

Though the Coyotes have won three straight in the series, the

Canucks (14-9-6) have earned at least one point in their last six

(3-0-3) trips to Phoenix.

Vancouver avoided a third consecutive loss Tuesday by scoring

all its goals in the second period, then holding on for a 3-2 win

over St. Louis. Daniel Sedin had a goal with an assist and Cory

Schneider made 32 saves to snap his own three-game losing streak in

his first start in five contests.

“You need great goaltending to win in this league,” coach Alain

Vigneault said.

Schneider was tabbed as the starter to open the season but is

7-5-3 with a 2.59 goals-against average while splitting time with

veteran Robert Luongo. Schneider made 18 saves against the Coyotes

last month.

Luongo, 7-4-3 with a 2.47 GAA, has allowed 12 goals during a

1-2-0 stretch in which he has a 4.05 GAA. However, he has a 1.47

GAA and a shutout while winning two straight at Phoenix.

Sedin has a goal and three assists in his last three games, and

a goal with 12 assists in his last 12 against the Coyotes. His

brother, Henrik, has scored five of his eight goals in the last

eight games and snapped a five-game series goal drought versus

Phoenix last month.

The Coyotes’ Mike Smith has allowed seven goals in his last two

games – equaling what he’s yielded while winning three straight

versus Vancouver.