The Phoenix Coyotes will look to continue their reign as the NHL's hottest team when they host the Anaheim Ducks on Saturday night at Jobing.com Arena.
The Coyotes will be looking for their eighth straight win, while the reeling Ducks will look to climb out of their recent slump. After winning six in a row, the Ducks have lost their last six, including Friday's 4-1 loss to the Chicago Blackhawks in Anaheim.
Phoenix, meanwhile, has not lost a regulation game since November 5th, and is 7-0-2 since that point. They haven't played since Tuesday, when they blanked the Edmonton Oilers, 5-0. The days off have given them time to get healthy, mainly on the blue line.
Ed Jovanovski and Adrian Aucoin are both expected to play on Saturday. Jovo missed Tuesday's win over Edmonton with the flu, while Aucoin missed a pair of games with a lower body injury. Their ailments opened the door for more playing time to guys like Sami Lepisto and Nolan Yonkman, but one of them will find the way back to the list of healthy scratches with the return of the old veterans.
Forward Kyle Turris is also expected to be activated off of injured reserve, after suffering a head injury against the Oilers in Edmonton. The injury was initially described as "upper body" and Turris was placed on the IR retroactive to November 19th. He should be available for Saturday's game.
On the Anaheim injury front, the only notable is veteran forward Teemu Selanne. Selanne was a scratch on Friday against Chicago with a groin injury, but did practice on Wednesday, so he could play on Saturday. The 40-year-old is off to a fast start, with 22 points this season.
Saturday's contest is easily identified as two teams heading in opposite directions. The Coyotes are streaking, while finding success in all phases of the game. The Ducks are struggling on all fronts, and backs, as evident by Jonas Hiller's removal from the Anaheim net on Friday afternoon.
Similar to Tuesday's matchup with the Oilers, Saturday presents the Coyotes with a very winnable game. Like the Oilers, the Ducks have a top line that can hurt you, but they don't have the depth that can keep up with the Coyotes for 60 minutes. As long as the Yotes come out and play a sound game, and limit their mistakes, they should have no trouble coming out with a win.