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NHL Preview from The Sports Network



Saturday, November 9th (All times Eastern)

Washington Capitals (9-7-0) at Phoenix Coyotes (11-4-2), 8 p.m.

(SportsNetwork.com) - Struggles on the penalty kill led to the Phoenix Coyotes having a five-game winning streak snapped last time out.

They know they can't make the same mistake on Saturday night against Alexander Ovechkin and the Washington Capitals, owners of the league's top power play.

The Coyotes yielded a pair of power-play goals in Wednesday's 5-2 loss to the Anaheim Ducks, including the game-tying tally while down two men late in the second period. That goal seemed to really shift the momentum as the Ducks went ahead for good on a goal with just 1.1 seconds to go in the middle frame.

Mike Smith made 24 saves and both Michael Stone and Shane Doan scored for a Phoenix club that was on its longest winning streak of the season and was coming off three straight shootout games. However, the Coyotes failed to contain a Ducks power play that ranks near the bottom of the league.

"You can't win a game in this league if you are going to turn the puck over and be undisciplined," Phoenix coach Dave Tippett said. "We knew it was going to be a hard game. It was a great test for our team to see how we reacted and we didn't play well enough, we didn't play disciplined enough to win."

Tippett will need his club to stay out of the box tonight. Washington ranks first in the NHL on the power play at 28.1 percent and Ovechkin tops the league with seven goals on the man advantage.

Phoenix could also be without Radim Vrbata after the forward left Wednesday's game with a lower-body injury. He has netted six goals on the year and is tied for the club lead with 13 points. Vrbata is expected to be a game-time decision along with defenseman Derek Morris.

However, blueliner David Schlemko and center Jeff Halpern could both return to the lineup tonight. Schlemko has missed four straight games with a lower-body injury, while Halpern has been out the past five with an upper-body issue.

The Coyotes are 7-0-1 at home and host a Capitals club that won for the fourth straight time with Thursday's 3-2 shootout win over Minnesota. Ovechkin scored his 13th goal of the season, on the power play no less, and Marcus Johansson potted a game-tying goal with 3:08 left in regulation, one that earned praise from head coach Adam Oates after Johansson's shot hit off a Minnesota defender and across the goal line.

"What I like about the tying goal is it took a lot of hard work," Oates said. "We fought through a lot of frustration because they were giving you nothing. It was hard to get shots to the net."

Nicklas Backstrom then had the lone goal of the shootout, which stood up after Braden Holtby made a save on Minnesota's Charlie Coyle. Holtby finished with 33 saves.

Following a perfect three-game homestand, the Capitals play two straight and three of their four on the road. Saturday will mark the first game for forward Jason Chimera since he signed a two-year, $4 million contract extension on Friday.

Chimera has posted five goals and six assists in 16 games this season.

The Capitals have won five of their past eight versus the Coyotes, including two straight at home. Holtby has never faced them.

Smith is winless in his career against Washington, going 0-6-0 with a 5.03 goals against average in seven games.

11/09 10:49:59 ET

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Scoreboard
Local
Final
CAR 5
PIT 2
Final
WISC 79
UNC 72
7:00pm Tonight
WAS
CHA
 
7:37pm Tonight
LOU
NCSU
 
9:45pm Tonight
DUKE
UTAH
 
Final
PIT 5
ATL 7
Final
DET 6
BAL 4
Final
STL 3
MIA 5
Final
BOS 5
MIN 4
Final
TAM 6
NYY 5
Final
TOR 4
PHI 1
Final
CLE 2
CIN 13
Final
SEA 0
KAN 3
Final
CWS 6
LOS 9
Final
MIL 15
SEA 1
Final
ARI 3
SDP 3
Final
WAS 3
NYM 8
Final
CHC 4
ANA 8
Final
TEX 6
COL 3
 
6th
SFG 4
OAK 4
 
1:05pm Today
ATL
BOS
 
1:05pm Today
STL
NYM
 
1:05pm Today
PHI
NYY
 
1:05pm Today
MIN
PIT
 
1:05pm Today
WAS
STL
 
1:05pm Today
BAL
TAM
 
1:07pm Today
TOR
DET
 
4:05pm Today
CHC
CWS
 
4:05pm Today
OAK
TEX
 
4:10pm Today
ANA
ARI
 
4:10pm Today
ARI
CLE
 
6:05pm Tonight
HOU
MIA
 
9:05pm Tonight
KAN
SEA
 
10:05pm Tonight
SDP
COL
 
10:05pm Tonight
CIN
MIL
 
10:05pm Tonight
LOS
SFG
 
Final
MIL 111
IND 107
7:00pm Tonight
WAS
CHA
 
7:00pm Tonight
ORL
DET
 
7:00pm Tonight
PHI
LAC
 
7:30pm Tonight
NYK
BOS
 
7:30pm Tonight
BRK
CLE
 
7:30pm Tonight
TOR
LAL
 
7:30pm Tonight
ATL
MIA
 
8:00pm Tonight
MEM
GSW
 
8:00pm Tonight
HOU
MIN
 
8:00pm Tonight
NOP
SAC
 
8:30pm Tonight
SAN
DAL
 
9:00pm Tonight
DEN
UTA
 
10:00pm Tonight
PHO
POR
 
Final
ND 81
WICHS 70
Final
WISC 79
UNC 72
Final
LALAF 82
EVAN 89
2nd
KENT 78
WVU 38
 
2nd
ARZ 41
XAV 44
 
7:15pm Tonight
GONZ
UCLA
 
7:37pm Tonight
LOU
NCSU
 
9:45pm Tonight
DUKE
UTAH
 
10:00pm Tonight
NARZ
KSU
 
10:07pm Tonight
OKLA
MSU
 
Final
BOS 2
ANA 3
Final
BUF 3
ARI 4
Final
NYI 2
LOS 3
Final
WAS 3
NJD 2
Final
CAR 5
PIT 2
Final
TOR 1
FLA 4
Final
TAM 2
NAS 3
Final
OTT 1
NYR 5
Final
DET 4
SJS 6
Final
WIN 5
MON 2
3rd
VAN 1
COL 3
 
8:00pm Tonight
MIN
CAL
 
8:30pm Tonight
CHI
CLB
 
9:30pm Tonight
EDM
DAL