While the Phoenix Coyotes are in danger of concluding their trip
with three consecutive defeats, they have played well in Colorado
The Avalanche are looking to regroup following a disappointing
trek of their own.
The slumping Coyotes will again be without captain Shane Doan as
they go for a fifth win in six visits to Pepsi Center on Tuesday
Phoenix (16-8-5) opened its trip with a 6-2 win over Edmonton
last Tuesday before losing 4-1 in Calgary the following night. The
Coyotes also came up short Friday in a 3-2 overtime defeat to
Antoine Vermette and David Moss scored in the third period to
forge a tie, but Mike Smith allowed the game-winning goal 3:41 into
OT. Smith finished with 29 saves as the Coyotes dropped to 2-4-2 in
their last eight.
“We’re trying to defend better, and we’re giving up less shots
and less chances against,” coach Dave Tippett told the team’s
official website. “But going into the trip, this game is about
winning and getting points. We got only got three of six and for
where we are, we need a better percentage than that.”
Phoenix could be looking forward to stopping in Colorado, where
it’s won four of five while surrendering eight goals. The Coyotes
are 10-1-3 in the overall series dating to March 2010, but the
Avalanche have taken the last two matchups, including a 4-3
overtime win at Phoenix on Nov. 21.
Doan, who recorded an assist that night, has 10 goals and 18
assists during a 23-game stretch versus Colorado. The veteran
forward, though, will miss a second consecutive game due to
“He’s a big piece of our puzzle, but if he’s out other guys have
to take more (responsibility) and have to step up,” said Tippett,
whose club will also be without defenseman Derek Morris and forward
Lauri Korpikoski. “He’s a big player that plays with skill. He
plays hard and in front of the net on the power play and provides
leadership in the dressing room. But there are players that we have
that can take some of that slack.”
The Avalanche (20-8-0) also struggled against the Canucks,
falling 3-1 on Sunday to finish a 1-2-0 trip. Jamie McGinn’s goal
with 7.1 seconds left in regulation helped Colorado avoid its first
shutout of the season.
“We pulled the goalie with five minutes left in the game, and it
was important for us as coaches to show our players that, ‘We are
not quitting,’ and they did the same thing – they kept going,”
coach Patrick Roy said. “All year we’ve been like this. We never
quit. We battled through, and I honestly thought we played a better
game than (Vancouver). Unfortunately, we have nothing to show for
The previously unbeaten Jean-Sebastien Giguere stopped just 18
shots in dropping to 7-1-0 with a 1.83 goals-against average.
“These are just stats for you (media) guys to talk about,”
Giguere said. “It was nice, but I try to go in there and compete
every day, and unfortunately losing is part of the game too. I’m
just going to regroup and get ready for the next chance I get to
Giguere is 0-1-5 with a 2.95 GAA in his last eight games against
the Coyotes. Semyon Varlamov was 0-3-1 with a 3.95 GAA over a
four-game stretch versus Phoenix before making a season-high 41
saves in last month’s win.
Smith has gone 8-1-3 against Colorado while compiling a 1.85
GAA, his lowest career mark against any team.