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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
DUKE 47
TULA 13
Final
ECU 70
UNC 41
Final
TOWSN 31
NCCU 20
 
Final
NCSU 42
PRES 0
 
1:30pm Today
CAR
CLB
 
8:30pm Tonight
CAR
PIT
Final
KAN 2
DET 3
Final
CHC 8
LOS 7
Final
OAK 0
PHI 3
Final
NYY 3
TOR 6
Final
COL 5
ARI 1
Final
BAL 7
BOS 2
Final
PIT 0
MIL 1
Final
TAM 3
CWS 1
Final
MIN 3
CLE 7
Final
ATL 2
NYM 4
Final
HOU 10
SEA 1
Final
MIA 2
WAS 3
Final
STL 8
CIN 4
Final
SDP 3
SFG 2
 
9th
ANA 8
TEX 5
 
1:05pm Today
NYY
TOR
 
1:10pm Today
MIA
WAS
 
1:35pm Today
BAL
BOS
 
1:35pm Today
PIT
MIL
 
1:35pm Today
ATL
NYM
 
1:40pm Today
TAM
CWS
 
2:10pm Today
MIN
CLE
 
2:10pm Today
KAN
DET
 
2:10pm Today
HOU
SEA
 
2:20pm Today
CHC
LOS
 
3:35pm Today
ANA
TEX
 
4:05pm Today
OAK
PHI
 
4:10pm Today
COL
ARI
 
4:10pm Today
SDP
SFG
 
8:05pm Tonight
STL
CIN
 
Final
WISC 68
BGU 17
Final
MSU 73
EMICH 14
Final
VT 24
GT 27
Final
PITT 20
IOWA 24
Final
RICE 42
ODU 45
Final
UGA 66
TROY 0
Final
SYR 20
MD 34
Final
DUKE 47
TULA 13
Final
COL 21
HAW 12
Final
AKR 17
MARS 48
Final
WAKE 24
ARMY 21
Final
KU 24
CMICH 10
Final
ALA 42
UF 21
Final
FIU 3
LOU 34
Final
ECU 70
UNC 41
Final
NAVY 24
RUTG 31
Final
SMU 6
TEXAM 58
Final
MICH 10
UTAH 26
Final
BYU 41
UVA 33
Final
WYO 20
FATL 19
Final
MIZZ 27
IND 31
Final
PSU 48
UMASS 7
Final
MINN 24
SJST 7
Final
ILL 42
TXST 35
Final
WASH 45
GASTATE 14
Final
SMISS 21
APPST 20
4th
TOL 27
BST 16
 
Final
OHIO 36
IDAHO 24
 
Final
CIN 31
UMO 24
Final
MEM 36
MTST 17
 
Final
LSU 29
MSST 34
 
Final
ARK 52
NILL 14
Final
ARKST 21
UTST 14
Final
SALABAMA 6
GASO 28
 
Final
WVU 33
OKLA 45
 
Final
VANDY 34
SCAR 48
Final
NEB 41
MIAMI 31
 
Final
NMST 35
NMU 38
 
Final
HOU 47
UNLV 14
 
Final
FSU 23
CLEM 17
 
3rd
ARZ 6
CAL 28
 
Half
ORST 14
SDST 7
 
2nd
WASU 21
OREG 21
 
2nd
BSU 21
LALAF 3
 
1:30pm Today
CAR
CLB
 
5:00pm Tonight
WAS
BUF
 
6:30pm Tonight
CLB
STL
 
8:00pm Tonight
EDM
CAL
 
8:00pm Tonight
CAL
EDM
 
1:00pm Today
CLE
BAL
1:00pm Today
STL
DAL
1:00pm Today
DET
GBP
1:00pm Today
NYG
HOU
1:00pm Today
JAC
IND
1:00pm Today
NOS
MIN
1:00pm Today
NEP
OAK
1:00pm Today
BUF
SDC
1:00pm Today
CIN
TEN
1:00pm Today
PHI
WAS
4:05pm Today
ARI
SFX
4:25pm Today
SEA
DEN
4:25pm Today
MIA
KAN
8:30pm Tonight
CAR
PIT
Final
TOWSN 31
NCCU 20
 
Final
NCSU 42
PRES 0