The Phoenix Coyotes are no doubt happy to be home after splitting four games on the road.
The Coyotes will try to win seven straight at home for the first time in almost eight years Monday night when they face the struggling Columbus Blue Jackets for the second time in five days.
Phoenix (21-13-2) has yielded a total of seven goals in its win streak at Jobing.com Arena, where it hasn’t lost since a 4-1 defeat to Tampa Bay on Nov. 16. Ilya Bryzgalov(notes) has won his last seven starts at home, posting a 1.29 goals-against average.
Bryzgalov, fourth in the league with a 2.08 GAA, will try to lead Phoenix to its first seven-game home win streak since an eight-game run Feb. 12-March 24, 2002.
The Coyotes missed a chance at a third straight victory Saturday with a 4-2 loss at Anaheim. Captain Shane Doan(notes) and Adrian Aucoin(notes) scored for Phoenix, which allowed two goals on seven power-play chances for the Ducks.
“We did everything we could to give the game away. We took bad penalty after bad penalty,” coach Dave Tippett said. “When you are taking a penalty, either you are getting beat or you are not being smart with your stick. When you take that many penalties, it just wears too many guys down and it’s going to bite you. We did that right until the end of the game - and it bit us at the end of the game.”
The Coyotes hadn’t been short-handed that many times in one game since Oct. 31, when they killed off six of seven power plays against Anaheim in a 3-2 shootout win.
Taking a high number of penalties would likely be a bad idea against Columbus (14-15-7), which leads the league with a 23.6 percentage on the power play. That’s one of the few bright spots for a Blue Jackets club that has lost a season-high six straight (0-4-2).
“I don’t know how you can blame Mason for the goals,” coach Ken Hitchcock said. “First shift of the game, you give up a breakaway after a glorious scoring opportunity. Second shift of the game, you get scored on. You hit the goal post, they get an odd man rush and score.
“It’s our tentativeness. It’s been going on all year, to be honest with you. This is a game of initiation. You can’t play on your heels.”
The Blue Jackets held a team meeting after the game, and Hitchcock indicated that Mathieu Garon(notes) will start Monday. Garon had 22 saves on 24 shots Saturday, and is 6-3-2 with a 2.06 GAA in 11 career starts against the Coyotes.
Garon was on the short end of a 2-1 shootout loss at home to Phoenix on Thursday. The Coyotes have won six of the last seven meetings, although the Blue Jackets spoiled Phoenix’s home opener with a 2-0 victory Oct. 10 despite being outshot 36-19.