The Phoenix Coyotes look to avoid matching their longest winless streak in six seasons, while the Anaheim Mighty Ducks try to end their three-game losing skid when the teams play the opener of a home-and-home series.
Phoenix opened this season with three straight wins, allowing just two goals in those contests. The Coyotes, however, have since gone 0-6-3 while getting outscored 37-23.
This winless streak is Phoenix’s longest since an 0-8-2 drought in 1997-98.
The Coyotes had their skid extended on Thursday night, falling 2-1 on the road to the Colorado Avalanche for their third straight loss.
Phoenix held a 1-0 lead after two periods, but Colorado scored twice in the first 11:28 of the third en route to the victory.
“For the most part we did what we tried to accomplish tonight,” Coyotes coach Bob Francis said. “We kept the puck out of our zone as much as possible, lowered the quality of chances against and kept the goals against to two or fewer.
“We accomplished some of our goals, but not all of them. It was obvious mistakes that cost us in the third period.”
Anaheim began its defense of the Western Conference title with five straight losses to open the season before rebounding to go 4-1-1 in its next six games.
The Ducks, however, have returned to their losing ways with three consecutive defeats on their six-game road trip.
After beating the New York Rangers and Washington Capitals to open the trip, Anaheim lost to the New York Islanders and Chicago Blackhawks before falling 2-1 in overtime to the St. Louis Blues on Tuesday.
St. Louis tied the game at 1-1 with 5:19 to go in regulation, and scored the game-winner with 31 seconds left in overtime. Though his team gave up two late scores, Ducks coach Mike Babcock was pleased with goaltender Jean-Sebastien Giguere’s performance.
Giguere, who led the Mighty Ducks to last season’s Stanley Cup finals, had his best outing of a shaky start to the season with 30 saves.
“If you’re a starting goaltender and can leave the rink feeling good about yourself, that’s a big plus for us,” Babcock said.
Phoenix beat Anaheim 2-0 on Oct. 12 for its third straight win in the series. The teams conclude the home-and-home set Sunday in Anaheim.
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