Coyotes-Ducks Preview

The Anaheim Ducks aren’t certain of the status of two of their top skaters.

Their No. 1 goaltender has missed back-to-back games, and their primary backup is on injured reserve.

Whether Ryan Getzlaf, Corey Perry and Frederik Andersen are available or not, the Ducks will try to continue an impressive defensive stretch Friday night against the visiting Arizona Coyotes, whom they swept a season ago.

Anaheim (10-3-1) began a four-game homestand with Wednesday’s 3-2 overtime loss to the New York Islanders, with Getzlaf and Perry sidelined because of flu-like symptoms. Andersen was healthy enough to back up Jason LaBarbera, but he’s missed two games due to leg stiffness.

John Gibson, Andersen’s preferred backup, is sidelined by a groin injury for six weeks.

"We didn’t quit, we played a good team undermanned, and we played hard," coach Bruce Boudreau told the team’s official website. "If the same thing happens on Friday, at least we’ve gone through it. Now we know we can do it."

Even with the defeat, the Ducks have allowed 15 goals in their last 10 games and 21 in going 10-2-1 since opening with a 6-4 loss at Pittsburgh.

Wednesday marked the first time since March 28, 2008 – a span of 516 regular-season and playoff contests – that Getzlaf and Perry had missed the same game due to injury or illness. They were healthy scratches in last season’s finale.

Without them, Matt Beleskey scored his sixth goal of the season, and Emerson Etem notched his first.

Getzlaf has 11 points in his last eight against the Coyotes. Perry’s 11 goals this season lead the league.

When healthy, Andersen has been among the best in league with a 7-1-0 record and 1.60 goals-against average. He’s never faced the Coyotes (5-6-1), whom the Ducks beat five times last season.

Arizona has been the antithesis of Anaheim in the defensive zone with four games of allowing five or more goals. It has reined it in enough to manage two straight wins, the latest being Tuesday’s 3-2 home victory over Toronto.

"It was big for us to win a game at home and hopefully get going in the right direction," captain Shane Doan said.

Part of the problem has been the penalty kill, as the club allowed two goals in five opportunities against the Maple Leafs. Over the last nine games, the Coyotes are 19 for 30 (63.3 percent) and have allowed a power-play goal in five straight games.

The Ducks’ power play, though, has gone 1 for 16 in the past five contests.

Arizona has started to get some offensive production out of Sam Gagner, who went without a goal in his first 10 games with the Coyotes but has scored in the last two along with Antoine Vermette.

The enigmatic Martin Erat also scored against the Maple Leafs, and his four goals in 12 games surpass the three he managed in 70 contests a season ago with Washington and the Coyotes.

Mike Smith ended a three-game skid with a 28-save night. His season got off to a disastrous start with a 4.29 GAA in his first six games, but he’s since posted a 2.35 mark in three starts.

"You play the right way and you deserve to win games, and we deserved to win," Smith told the team’s official website. "We talked about what we need to do to give ourselves a chance to win. We did that for a more consistent time and we earned some bounces."

His six starts in Anaheim have resulted in a 1-3-2 record and 3.94 GAA, limiting the Ducks to fewer than four goals once.