Oilers-Coyotes Preview

The Phoenix Coyotes nearly had their first winning streak of the

season snapped at Edmonton, but instead they return home in search

of a seventh consecutive victory.

This time, the Oilers hope to finish the job and notch rare

back-to-back road wins as they visit Jobing.com Arena on Tuesday


The Coyotes (10-5-5) hadn’t won consecutive games this season

until their current run, which featured a three-game sweep of their

road trip through western Canada.

Phoenix trailed 3-0 at Edmonton on Friday night, but battled

back to tie the game on Wojtek Wolski’s goal with 35 seconds left

in regulation with the goaltender pulled. The Coyotes won 4-3 in a


Coach Dave Tippett’s team capped the trip with a 3-2 win over

Vancouver on Sunday night, sparked by two goals from Taylor Pyatt –

including the winner in the third period.

Much as they did last season en route to their first playoff

berth since 2002, the Coyotes have relied on strong goaltending and

timely offense despite a lack of star power. No Phoenix players

rank among the top 70 in the NHL in points.

“The one thing I like is we’ve got everybody contributing,”

Tippett said. “Every night, it seems like there’s a different guy

that steps up and plays well, or a different line. Our goaltending

has been solid through it, but for the most part it’s been a solid

team effort.”

Ilya Bryzgalov improved to 9-2-5 with a 2.76 goals-against

average Sunday, while Phoenix captain Shane Doan returned from a

seven-game absence due to a lower-body injury.

Doan had two goals and two assists to help the Coyotes win their

final three games against the Oilers (5-10-4) last season, and the

streak continued Friday despite 39 saves from Edmonton’s Devan


Dubnyk, filling in for injured veteran Nikolai Khabibulin,

picked up his first win of the season Sunday by making 38 saves in

a 4-2 win at Anaheim.

“It’s exciting for me,” Dubnyk said. “You never want to see a

guy get injured, and we’re all hoping he comes back soon. But

that’s why you play so hard to be the number two goalie – so that

if something does happen, you’re the guy and not the one they call

up to be the backup. I worked as hard as I could to get to this

spot, and I’m just going to enjoy the chance to play.”

One road win was rare enough for the Oilers, 5-25-5 on the road

since Dec. 23. They’ve won consecutive road games once in that

stretch, both against Chicago on Oct. 29 and Nov. 7.

More contributions from rookie Taylor Hall would certainly help.

The top overall pick in the 2010 draft scored his fourth goal

Sunday – his first in eight games.

Ales Hemsky has led Edmonton offensively of late, recording a

goal and an assist in each of the last two games and scoring the

winner against the Ducks. Hemsky has nine goals and 15 assists in

14 games against Phoenix since the start of 2006-07, his most

points against any opponent in that stretch.