Phoenix Coyotes (4-2-1) at Anaheim Ducks (4-1-0)
|Date & Time||Friday October 18, 2013, 10:00 PM (EDT)|
The Line: Anaheim Ducks / Phoenix Coyotes --- Over/Under:
|TV Channel||Stream NHL games all season on ESPN+ for only $4.99 a month. Sign up now!|
The Phoenix Coyotes and Anaheim Duck do battle at the Honda Centre Friday night as these two former Pacific division foes renew hostilities.
The Coyotes head into Anaheim with a 4-2-1 mark and are coming off an overtime loss to the Ottawa Senators – a game in which dominated most of the contest with the exception of a mid game stretch from Jason Spezza and ultimately it cost them the second point. Phoenix has done a good job keeping the puck out of the net this season as they’re a strong defensive team led by Keith Yandle and Oliver Ekman-Larsson but they’ll need to find more reliable and more consistent scoring options up front if they want to do some damage in the postseason. Mike Smith will get the call for the Coyotes in this one and while his numbers are where we’re used to seeing from him the season is just getting started and we’ll likely see those stats climb back to respectability over the next few weeks.
Anaheim meanwhile dropped their season opener to the Colorado Avalanche but haven’t lost since, reeling off five straight wins including a 3-2 decision over the Flames on Wednesday night setting up this grudge match with the Coyotes. Anaheim is stacked up front and even though they lost one of their best goal scorers from the last handful of seasons in Bobby Ryan, his replacement Jakub Silfverberg has done a wonderful job. Jonas Hiller is enjoying a renaissance season as he has reclaimed the starter’s role between the pipes and his success will indicate team success for the Ducks and as we have seen from Hiller in year’s past he is more than capable to handle the responsibility of being a number one net minder. While the Coyotes always seem to play their (former) divisional opponents tight I think this is just a bad spot for them as Anaheim is coming off a rather sluggish effort against Calgary and I expect them to come out firing at home in this one.