The Coyotes will be looking to do two things on Sunday night -- rebound from their shootout loss to the Florida Panthers on Saturday, and get a little bit of revenge against the Anaheim Ducks after they snapped the Coyotes winning streak in Phoenix last weekend.
Phoenix enters Sunday's contest having lost three of four, but having taken away positives from each of the losses. In a pair of those losses, they ran into the hot goaltender and dropped a close one. On Tuesday, it was Pekka Rinne, before Scott Clemmensen stonewalled the Coyotes on 40 of their 41 shots.
Much of the energy the Coyotes will be bringing into this game should come from the most recent meeting between these two teams. While the 6-4 final might symbolize a close game, the Coyotes lost in embarrassing fashion, giving up five consecutive goals after leading 3-1.
After dropping six straight before beating the Coyotes, the Ducks have won three of four since. Backed by solid goaltending from Jonas Hiller, the Ducks have beaten two of the Western Conference's best, losing only to the Detroit Red Wings in their last four.
Despite starting on Saturday, Ilya Bryzgalov should easily be in line to start for the Coyotes in Anaheim on Sunday. Bryz was stellar all night for the Yotes, stopping 36 shots and forcing the shootout against the Panthers into extra rounds.
If the Coyotes hope to scratch out a win in Anaheim, their defense will have to do a better job with the Ducks' top line. While Anaheim lacks depth, their top line is one that can skate with anyone in the league. They proved it last Saturday when Bobby Ryan netted a trio of goals, with Corey Perry adding another one.
Just like they did on Saturday, the Coyotes have a chance to exploit a lackluster defense. The Ducks are towards the bottom of the league in goals against and in the league's bottom half in penalty kill percentage.
The Coyotes' own penalty kill is something that is going to have to be strong against Anaheim and their ninth-ranked power play unit. Phoenix has gotten themselves into trouble by committing penalties, including Saturday when they spent the majority of overtime while a man down, leading to an absence of scoring chances.
What Phoenix could use the most on Sunday is a little bit of luck. In two of their last three losses, the Coyotes have dominated much of the game, only to let a close one slip away towards the end, a la Saturday. After dropping two of their last three, in nail-biting fashion, expect the Coyotes to come out firing on Sunday.