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Ducks At Coyotes: Anaheim Looks To End Losing Skid Against Hot Phoenix Squad

(Sports Network) - The sizzling Phoenix Coyotes will try to extend their winning streak to eight games when they welcome the sliding Anaheim Ducks for tonight's Pacific Division battle at Arena.

All told, it's been over three weeks since Phoenix last suffered a regulation loss, a 6-3 setback in Dallas on Nov. 5. The club is 7-0-2 over its last nine games and the seven straight victories marks the longest winning streak for the Coyotes since they won nine in a row from March 4-21 of last season.

The hot stretch has helped erase the fact that Phoenix had won just four times in its first 14 games of the season. In fact, as a result of its strong November play the Coyotes are now leading the Pacific by one point over Los Angeles.

The Coyotes earned their most recent triumph Tuesday against visiting Edmonton. Martin Hanzal and Lee Stempniak each tallied twice and Ilya Bryzgalov stopped all 23 shots he faced to lead Phoenix to the 5-0 blowout victory. The win bumped Phoenix's record on home ice to 5-2-3 on the season, though the official attendance at Arena was just 9,354.

Bryzgalov, who improved to 10-2-5 on the season, posted his first shutout since March 13 at Carolina. Wojtek Wolski posted a goal and one assist for the Coyotes,.

"We had a couple of lines step up and play very well for us and contribute," Coyotes head coach Dave Tippett said. "This was a must win for us and we did what we had to do to win. All the credit goes to the players."

Phoenix played without a pair of key defensemen in Tuesday's game and both players are questionable for tonight. Ed Jovanovski missed the last game with flu-like symptoms, while Aucoin has sat out the last two contests with a lower-body injury.

While Phoenix has been on fire recently, the Ducks are currently in the midst of their longest losing streak of the season. Anaheim was dealt its sixth straight loss on Friday, dropping a 4-1 decision against visiting Chicago.

Tonight, the Ducks will try to avoid their first seven-game slide since losing eight straight from Nov. 3-25, 2005.

Dan Sexton notched the lone goal for the Ducks on Friday. Jonas Hiller was dented for all four goals on 28 shots in the loss, and was pulled late for Curtis McElhinney, who made six saves the rest of the way.

Anaheim enters tonight having lost three straight on the road. The Ducks are just 3-7-2 as the visiting team this season.

The Coyotes played the Ducks once earlier this season and Anaheim notched a 3-2 regulation win on its home ice. Even with that loss on Oct. 17, Phoenix has still taken three of five and five out of eight in the series overall. The Ducks have also dropped four in a row and six of their last nine games in the desert.