The Phoenix Coyotes will look to halt their three-game skid when they return to Jobing.com Arena for a tilt against the division rival Dallas Stars. The Yotes kicked off their five-game road trip in the midst of a win streak that would end up stretching eight games. That streak carried into the first two games of their road trip, with wins coming in Nashville and Philadelphia.
The latter half of their road swing didn't go so well. The Coyotes were embarrassed in Tampa Bay, and in Columbus, before losing in a shootout to the Chicago Blackhawks on Sunday.
Much of that is due to their penalty kill, which gave up eight power play goals over that span.
It's not like the Stars have been blowing anyone away in recent weeks either. Though they've won back-to-back games, they've won just three of their last 10, and now find themselves on the verge of falling out of contention with a loss on Tuesday.
The big news for Phoenix is the expected debut of their new defenseman, Rostislav Klesla. A longtime Columbus Blue Jacket, Klesla was dealt to Phoenix for a package that included Scottie Upshall and Sami Lepisto.
Part of what made Upshall expendable is the recent play of the youngster Mikkel Boedker, who may have finally sealed himself a spot on the Coyotes roster with his recent play. The first round pick of the Coyotes in 2008 has a four-game point streak, in which he's tallied six assists.
As usual, it will be Ilya Bryzgalov taking his place in the crease for the Coyotes on Tuesday. The Russian has given up eight goals in his last two starts, after winning eight in a row for the Yotes.
He'll be up against a goalie with a hot hand in Kari Lehtonen. He's allowed just four goals in his last three starts, while ranking in the league's top five in saves.
With recent surges from both the Blackhawks and San Jose Sharks, wins are as crucial as ever for the Coyotes, who trail San Jose by two points, while leading Chicago and Los Angeles by just two apiece.
As always, you can follow along with the crew at Five For Howling, from the puck drop at 7 P.M. local time until the final horn.