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Penalty Kill The Key As Coyotes Host Columbus Blue Jackets

The Phoenix Coyotes will continue their playoff charge when they host the Columbus Blue Jackets on Thursday night, at Arena. The two squads last met on February 25th, with the Blue Jackets taking home the 5-3 win, in a contest that saw the Coyotes surrender a trio of power play goals.

Their penalty kill will be the key to defeat the Blue Jackets, who have set a franchise record for road wins this season. While the Columbus power play is nothing special, the Coyotes rank 27th in the NHL on the PK, stopping just 78 percent of opposing chances against the man advantage.

Phoenix's last few contests have not only drawn concerns on the penalty kill, but also on their offense. After managing just one fluke goal against Chicago on Sunday, the Coyotes managed just a pair against St. Louis on Tuesday. Yet, this defensive-oriented club keeps finding ways to win.

Even with their recent issues getting the puck in the net, the Yotes are still 11th in the league in goals per game.

On the injury front, nothing has changed for Phoenix, who will still be without both forward Martin Hanzal and defenseman Ed Jovanovski on Thursday.

As the playoffs get closer, the Coyotes continue to look like they're destined for, at least, the fourth seed in the Western Conference. However, with 75 games played, more than any other team fighting for one of those playoff spots, outside of Calgary, there's no time for Phoenix to take anyone lightly.

In what is sure to be a low-scoring affair, check out our own Five for Howling for your in-game updates.

Programming Update:

Listed below is the Coyotes complete TV schedule for the remainder of the 2010-11 regular season:

  • Saturday, March 26 versus San Jose Sharks - FOX Sports Arizona (HD)
  • Tuesday, March 29 versus Dallas Stars - FOX Sports Arizona (HD)
  • Friday, April 1 versus Colorado Avalanche - FOX Sports Arizona PLUS (HD)
  • Wednesday, April 6 at Los Angeles Kings - FOX Sports Arizona (HD)
  • Friday, April 8 versus San Jose Sharks - 3TV (KTVK)
  • Saturday, April 9 at San Jose Sharks - FOX Sports Arizona PLUS (HD)