(SportsNetwork.com) – The Arizona Coyotes will shoot for their longest winning
streak of the season when they visit the Anaheim Ducks in Friday’s Pacific
Division clash at the Honda Center.
While the Coyotes try to extend their winning streak to a season-high three
games, the Ducks are hoping to get their two superstar forwards back on the
Flu-like symptoms forced both Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry — the Ducks’ top
two leading scorers this season — to sit out Wednesday’s game against the New
York Islanders and Anaheim had its two-game win streak halted with an overtime
loss. It marked the first time the Ducks played a game without both Getzlaf
and Perry since March 28, 2008, when they lost to San Jose.
Getzlaf is expected to return tonight, while Perry, who leads the NHL with
11 goals, could miss a second straight game.
“The difference was that Ryan had it yesterday morning and Corey didn’t get it
until closer to game time,” Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau told his club’s
official website on Thursday. “We’ll see how it goes tomorrow. Knowing Corey,
if he’s feeling good, he’s going to want to play. Who am I to sit him out?”
Perry is leading Anaheim with 15 points, while Getzlaf is next with 14 points
on three goals and 11 helpers.
Frederik Andersen also could return to game action tonight after missing time
with a sore leg. The Ducks goaltender suited up as the backup on Wednesday,
but still hasn’t played since Oct. 31 when he picked up a win in Dallas.
Andersen is 7-1-0 this season and expects to get the majority of starts while
rookie John Gibson is sidelined with a groin injury. Gibson is expected to
miss approximately six weeks with his ailment.
Jason LaBarbera, Anaheim’s third-string netminder, made his second straight
start on Wednesday and allowed three goals on 36 shots. LaBarbera picked up
his first NHL victory since Oct. 7 of last season when he helped Edmonton beat
New Jersey on Sunday.
Anaheim overcame a two-goal deficit to send Wednesday’s game to overtime, but
John Tavares tallied the winner for the Islanders 2:18 into the extra session.
Matt Beleskey and Emerson Etem had the goals for the Ducks.
“We fought pretty hard and we played hard despite missing a few key guys,”
The setback came at the start of a four-game homestand and dropped the Ducks
to 4-1-1 as the host this season.
The Coyotes last played on Tuesday when they posted a 3-2 home win over the
Toronto Maple Leafs. That victory came two days after Arizona halted a three-
game slide with Sunday’s 6-5 win at Washington.
Antoine Vermette’s goal in the second period proved to be the winner on
Tuesday. Sam Gagner and Martin Erat also scored for the Coyotes, while Mike
Smith stopped 28 shots in the win.
“For the most part it was an improvement and there’s still improvement needed,
but we’re moving in the right direction,” said Arizona head coach Dave
Arizona last won three in a row from March 15-20 of last season.
The Coyotes were swept in a five-game season series against Anaheim last
season and have lost six of the last seven meetings. Arizona also has dropped
three in a row and six of its last seven tests in Orange County.