The Coyotes look to extend their point streak to eight when they face a Ducks team going for a fourth straight victory overall and third in a row in Glendale on Saturday night.
Coming off consecutive one-goal road wins, the Coyotes (22-13-9) were sluggish against Toronto on Thursday before defenseman Ed Jovanovski(notes) was hit in the head by Maple Leafs forward Mike Brown(notes) late in the second period.
No penalty was called, and the incident seemed to wake Phoenix up. With Jovanovski sidelined the entire third period with a lower-body injury suffered on the hit, Shane Doan(notes), Taylor Pyatt(notes), Lauri Korpikoski(notes) and Keith Yandle(notes) scored in the final 20 minutes for a 5-1 victory.
Phoenix moved to 5-0-2 in its last seven, the club’s longest point streak since a season-best 7-0-2 run from Nov. 6-23.
“These are very, very important games for us,” coach Dave Tippett said. “We have to play better than we did tonight. I’ll take the two points but we need to play better.”
The Coyotes, one point ahead of Anaheim (24-18-4) for second place in the Pacific Division, continue a four-game homestand against a Ducks team that has won three straight and six of seven.
With Bobby Ryan(notes) notching his third career hat trick and recording a career-best four points, Anaheim capped a 5-1-0 homestand with a 7-4 victory over the Blues on Wednesday. The Ducks went 6-6-1 in their first 13 games last month before closing the year with two straight wins.
“The month of December was a little bit ugly,” said Ryan, who has six goals and an assist in the last three games. “We’ve gone on streaks all year long. We need to come out at home, establish the forecheck, and establish our identity.”
While Getzlaf is likely out until next month with multiple facial fractures, Anaheim has won five of six in his absence. Ryan, who scored three times in a 6-4 road victory over the Coyotes on Nov. 27, has been outstanding since sliding over to take Getzlaf’s center spot.
The club has been anchored defensively by Jonas Hiller(notes), who has turned away 94 of 98 shots during the winning streak and is expected to start against the Coyotes, who have scored 34 goals in the last nine games.
Hiller is 3-1-0 with a 2.25 GAA against Phoenix this season, winning both starts at Jobing.com Arena.
Anaheim will try to sweep its road matchups with Phoenix for the first time since the 2001-02 season.