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NHL Preview from The Sports Network



Saturday, December 21st (All times Eastern)

Phoenix Coyotes (18-10-6) at Ottawa Senators (14-17-6), 2 p.m.

(SportsNetwork.com) - A pair of struggling clubs will fight for a much-needed win on Saturday afternoon, as the Ottawa Senators welcome the Phoenix Coyotes for a battle at Canadian Tire Centre.

The Coyotes enter Saturday's matinee on a three-game slide and also have dropped five of seven and nine of their last 13 tilts. Ottawa hasn't fared much better recently, losing two straight as part of a 6-10-2 stretch over its last 18 games.

Phoenix has lost the first two tests on a four-game road trip, giving the Coyotes four defeats in their past five games as the guest. The club is only 8-7-4 as the road team this season and will complete the trek Monday in Buffalo.

After dropping a 3-1 decision Tuesday in Montreal, the Coyotes were dealt a 2-1 shootout setback by the Toronto Maple Leafs on Thursday. James van Riemsdyk and Joffrey Lupul both scored in the shootout to help the Leafs snap a two-game slide with the close win at Air Canada Centre.

Martin Hanzal tied the game late in the third for Phoenix, while Mike Smith stopped 26-of-27 shots through regulation and overtime.

"We wanted to play a hard road game. Our tempo got better as the game went on. We had multiple opportunities in the third period to tie and then take the lead. We got the one we needed," said Coyotes coach Dave Tippett. "It's a step in the right direction. We're a little banged up and looking for some guys to elevate their game."

Coyotes captain Shane Doan has missed the last six games with an illness that Phoenix has categorized as Rocky Mountain fever. Doan is on medication to battle the bacterial disease and his status is considered week-to-week.

Defenseman Zbynek Michalek will miss a second straight contest today for the Coyotes and is out indefinitely with a lower-body injury.

The Senators, meanwhile, could be without forward Mika Zibanejad on Saturday after he sustained an upper-body injury in Ottawa's most recent loss, a 4-2 home defeat on Thursday against Florida. Zibanejad, who has eight goals and seven assists this season, is considered day-to-day and will be a game-time decision for this afternoon's tilt.

Ottawa lost its second straight game in regulation on Thursday despite going into the closing minutes of the third period tied with the Panthers. Tom Gilbert scored the go-ahead power-play goal for Florida with 2:32 remaining in the third and Tomas Kopecky added the insurance tally just 51 seconds later with a shorthanded goal.

Chris Neil and Jason Spezza scored for the Senators, who have dropped four of six. Craig Anderson took the loss despite 31 stops.

"It's my job to stop the puck," said Anderson. "It's one of those things where we were there, we were close (to winning). But close isn't good enough."

The Senators, who began a three-game homestand on Thursday, fell to 7-10-3 as the host this season. Ottawa will close the residency when it welcomes Pittsburgh to town on Monday.

Ottawa has gotten the better of the Coyotes in recent years, claiming seven of the past nine overall encounters in this series and winning six straight on home ice. Phoenix's last win in Canada's capital city came on Dec. 12, 1998.

12/21 10:39:19 ET

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NCSTATE 3
 
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6:35pm Tonight
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DUR
 
8:00pm Tonight
NCSTATE
TCU
 
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KAN 8
CHC 4
Final
COL 4
PHI 1
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TAM 1
BAL 2
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MIA 4
NYM 3
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WAS 2
CIN 5
Final
BOS 4
TEX 7
Final
ARI 7
MIL 5
Final
CWS 6
HOU 3
Final
TOR 6
MIN 4
Final
LOS 0
STL 3
Final
DET 0
ANA 2
Final
NYY 2
OAK 6
Final
CLE 1
SEA 2
Final
PIT 2
SDP 6
Final
ATL 2
SFG 4
2:10pm Today
TOR
MIN
 
3:05pm Today
COL
PHI
 
4:05pm Today
TAM
BAL
 
4:10pm Today
ARI
MIL
 
4:10pm Today
CWS
HOU
 
4:10pm Today
MIA
NYM
 
4:10pm Today
WAS
CIN
 
7:15pm Tonight
BOS
TEX
 
7:15pm Tonight
KAN
CHC
 
7:15pm Tonight
LOS
STL
 
10:05pm Tonight
ATL
SFG
 
10:05pm Tonight
DET
ANA
 
10:05pm Tonight
NYY
OAK
 
10:10pm Tonight
CLE
SEA
 
10:10pm Tonight
PIT
SDP
 
Final
TAM 2
NYR 0
8:00pm Tonight
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ANA
 
Final
AUBURN 6
CHARLESTON 7
 
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CALIFORNIA 9
CCAROLINA 3
 
Final
COLUMBIA 6
ECAROLINA 3
 
Final
ORALROBRTS 6
ARKANSAS 8
 
Final
SFLORIDA 5
FAU 3
 
Final
WRIGHTST 7
NOTREDAME 13
 
Final
MICHIGAN 10
BRADLEY 5
 
Final
OREGON 1
IOWA 3
 
Final
TEXAS 4
OREGONST 5
 
Final
INDIANA 7
RADFORD 1
 
Final
ULLAFAYETE 7
RICE 6
 
Final
STONYBROOK 0
NCSTATE 3
 
Final
LEHIGH 3
LSU 10
 
Final
CLEMSON 4
ARIZONAST 7
 
Final
MERCER 4
FLORIDAST 5
 
Final
MOREHEADST 2
LOUISVILLE 7
 
Final
VIRGINIA 6
USC 1
 
7:00pm Friday
CANISIUS 0
SWMISSOURI 0
 
Final
FIU 2
MIAFLA 6
 
Final
FLAAM 0
FLORIDA 19
 
Final
MARYLAND 3
MISS 1
 
Final
STJOHNS 4
OKLAHOMAST 5
 
Final
TSOUTHERN 0
TEXASAM 5
 
Final
VCU 7
DALLASBAPT 2
 
Final
HSTNBAPT 4
HOUSTON 6
 
Final
LIPSCOMB 1
VANDERBILT 9
 
Final
OHIO 3
ILLINOIS 10
 
Final
SACREDHART 0
TCU 10
 
Final
PEPPERDINE 3
FULLERTON 9
 
Final
SANDIEGOST 4
CSANTABAR 3
 
Final
TULANE 1
NWILMINGTN 10
 
Final
CSBAKER 2
UCLA 7
 
12:00pm Today
AUBURN
MERCER
 
12:00pm Today
BRADLEY
MOREHEADST
 
12:00pm Today
TEXAS
DALLASBAPT
 
1:00pm Today
CANISIUS
SWMISSOURI
 
1:00pm Today
CCAROLINA
TSOUTHERN
 
1:00pm Today
ECAROLINA
FIU
 
1:00pm Today
FAU
FLAAM
 
1:00pm Today
ORALROBRTS
STJOHNS
 
1:00pm Today
WRIGHTST
OHIO
 
3:30pm Today
RICE
HSTNBAPT
 
3:30pm Today
STONYBROOK
SACREDHART
 
4:00pm Today
MICHIGAN
LOUISVILLE
 
4:00pm Today
RADFORD
LIPSCOMB
 
4:00pm Today
TULANE
LEHIGH
 
5:00pm Tonight
OREGON
TBA
 
6:00pm Tonight
CHARLESTON
FLORIDAST
 
6:00pm Tonight
USC
CSANTABAR
 
7:00pm Tonight
ARKANSAS
OKLAHOMAST
 
7:00pm Tonight
CALIFORNIA
TEXASAM
 
7:00pm Tonight
CLEMSON
PEPPERDINE
 
7:00pm Tonight
COLUMBIA
MIAFLA
 
7:00pm Tonight
MISS
CSBAKER
 
7:00pm Tonight
OREGONST
VCU
 
7:00pm Tonight
SFLORIDA
FLORIDA
 
8:00pm Tonight
INDIANA
VANDERBILT
 
8:00pm Tonight
ULLAFAYETE
HOUSTON
 
8:00pm Tonight
NCSTATE
TCU
 
8:00pm Tonight
NOTREDAME
ILLINOIS
 
9:00pm Tonight
IOWA
TBA
 
9:00pm Tonight
NWILMINGTN
LSU
 
10:00pm Tonight
VIRGINIA
SANDIEGOST
 
11:00pm Tonight
ARIZONAST
FULLERTON
 
11:00pm Tonight
MARYLAND
UCLA
 
Final
SYR 1
DUR 3
 
6:35pm Tonight
SYR
DUR