(Sports Network) - The slumping Phoenix Coyotes can at least take comfort in
the fact that they were not shut out in their previous game.
Still, the Coyotes know they need to get back on track soon and they look to
avoid a fifth straight loss on Thursday evening as they host the Vancouver
Phoenix was held without a goal in the each of the first three games of its
recent road trip, including a 1-0 shootout loss in Columbus on March 16. The
Coyotes followed with games in Los Angeles on consecutive nights, falling 4-0
one night before Tuesday's 3-2 setback.
Things were once again looking bleak as the Coyotes failed to score over the
first two periods and trailed by two. Captain Shane Doan finally broke the
scoring drought at 245 minutes, 33 seconds on his 10th goal of the season with
8:32 left, but the Kings responded shortly after with a power-play goal.
Though Doan got his second of the game with 41 seconds to play, Phoenix still
went winless on the four-game swing. Mike Smith made 26 saves in his club's
fifth straight road loss.
Those struggles have the Coyotes in a tie for ninth-place in the Western
Conference with Columbus, two points behind San Jose.
"Obviously everybody in this room is frustrated and disappointed and
desperate," said Doan. "We have to start with a desperate game and play a full
game as desperate as we can. There's a lot of good things from that game and
we have to take the positives and keep going. We could have just as easily won
that game, but we didn't and that's the way it goes."
Phoenix will play its next two at home and takes on a Vancouver club coming
off a split of a four-game residency.
The Canucks snapped a two-games slide on Tuesday, holding on for a 3-2 victory
over the St. Louis Blues.
Cory Schneider got plenty of work as his club was outshot 34-19. He stopped
all 15 shots he faced in the first period and ended with 32 saves in all,
getting tagged for a pair of goals in the third.
"We got a real solid performance from Cory," Vancouver coach Alain Vigneault
said. "You need great goaltending to win in this league. He gave us that."
The Canucks scored three times in the second period, with Daniel Sedin
notching a goal and an assist. Dale Weise and Jannik Hansen added goals as the
Canucks moved back into a tie with Minnesota for first place in the Northwest
Division after losing to the Wild the previous night. However, the Wild beat
Detroit on Wednesday to pull two points in front of Vancouver.
The Canucks have lost three straight versus the Coyotes, including a 4-2 home
setback on Feb. 26 in the first of three meetings this season.
The Sports Network