(SportsNetwork.com) - The Phoenix Coyotes hope to take advantage of a
struggling Edmonton Oilers club on Friday night and snap a five-game road
losing streak as the teams clash at Rexall Place.
The Coyotes are 0-3-2 in their last five games as the guest, opening a three-
game swing with Wednesday's 3-2 setback to the Calgary Flames, failing to
extend their opponent's franchise-worst seven-game slide at home.
Antoine Vermette scored his second short-handed goal in as many games and
Shane Doan had a third-period goal to again get Phoenix to within one, but the
club lost its second straight game and sixth in its past eight.
Mike Smith turned aside 23-of-26 shots in defeat, which saw the Coyotes fail
to score a power-play goal for the first time in nine games.
"We have to just keep pounding away," Phoenix coach Dave Tippett said. "We've
got a lot of guys who are playing hard. We just have to turn it into results."
The Coyotes have won all three of their previous meetings with the Oilers this
season and have won four straight and nine of the last 11 encounters overall.
They have also claimed two in a row and seven of their last eight in Edmonton.
Smith is 7-1-1 with a 2.54 goals against average in his career versus the
Oilers, starting all three meetings this season. He won the first two, but was
lifted after 27 minutes of work in a 4-3 overtime win at home on Dec. 31.
Smith yielded three goals on 10 shots, while Thomas Greiss stopped all 15
shots he faced in relief to get the win.
The Oilers come in having lost five in a row (0-4-1) and 16 of their last 20
games, dropping a 2-1 decision to the Vancouver Canucks on Tuesday.
Jordan Eberle scored a goal in his third straight game and Ben Scrivens made
25 stops in his home debut after being recently acquired from the Los Angeles
"We were right there even with them," Edmonton head coach Dallas Eakins said
of his team's late charge. "I thought the game started to tilt our way in the
Eberle's goal-scoring streak has pushed his season total to 17 to go along
with 23 assists in 51 games. He ranks third on the club in goals scored,
behind only David Perron and Taylor Hall, who both have netted 18. Eberle is
also second to only Hall's 47 points on Edmonton.
Eakins is expected to give Ilya Bryzgalov the start tonight and he is 9-2-1
with a 2.05 GAA in 13 starts against his former club, but did yield four goals
on 45 shot faced in the previous meeting on Dec. 31.
The Sports Network