GAME DAY: at Phoenix

Jackets looking to play spoiler to Coyotes playoff hopes

Tuesday, 04.03.2012 / 9:24 AM / News
By Rob Mixer  - BlueJackets.com

  Columbus Blue Jackets vs. Phoenix Coyotes
RECORDS - CBJ: 27-45-7 (Road: 11-24-4), PHX: 39-27-13 (Home: 21-13-6)
WHEN: Apr. 3, 2012 - 10 p.m.   |   WHERE: Jobing.com Arena
WATCH:
FOX Sports Ohio (HD)  |  LISTEN: 97.1 The Fan FM & BlueJackets.com
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Dorsett

Richards

If the Phoenix Coyotes fail to reach the Stanley Cup playoffs (or are unable to win the Pacific Division), all they need to do is look at their record in the season series against the Blue Jackets. Columbus (3-0-0) has owned the previous three meetings with the Coyotes this year and each has been a fairly dominant performance by the Blue Jackets. And on each occasion, the Coyotes sorely needed two points against a Blue Jackets club not in playoff contention, but came up empty.

Will that change tonight at Jobing.com Arena? Phoenix certainly hopes so, and momentum is on its side as goaltender Mike Smith is riding a shutout streak of nearly 160 consecutive minutes coming into the game. The Coyotes are currently in seventh place in the Western Conference, but are just two points clear of ninth-place Dallas with three games to go. The division crown is still within range and it’s a dead heat between the Coyotes and Los Angeles Kings: the two clubs are even based on points (91) and regulation or overtime victories (33), meaning the Kings’ superior record in the season series has them in the division lead for the time being. That could change, of course, with Los Angeles playing last night at home and the Coyotes facing a key game against the Blue Jackets tonight.

The Coyotes and Blue Jackets each bring winning streaks into tonight’s game in Glendale, but Columbus’ string of victories has included some impressive competition. After defeating the Detroit Red Wings at home on Wednesday night, the Blue Jackets beat the playoff-hopeful Florida Panthers in a crucial game on Friday. The next night, with rookie goaltender Allen York between the pipes and the St. Louis Blues looking to clinch the Central Division, Columbus shut them down and earned a 5-2 win. Phoenix has won two straight, and could potentially leap into the division lead with two points tonight.

York will be the starting netminder for the Blue Jackets in Phoenix, marking his fourth consecutive start between the pipes. Smith is expected to get the call for the Coyotes, looking to extend his already-impressive shutout streak.

G
Nash (27) Vrbata (33)
A
Prospal (36) Whitney (51)
PTS
Nash (56) Whitney (75)
PIM
Dorsett (218) Torres (64)
+/-
MacKenzie (+4) Whitney (+25)
W/L
Mason (14-26-3)
Smith (35-18-10)
GAA
York (2.35) Smith (2.29)
SVP
York (.921) Smith (.927)
• Tonight’s game continues a three-game road trip that began in St. Louis Saturday and concludes at Colorado Thursday. The season will conclude with a home game against the New York Islanders next Saturday. The club has gone 5-3-0 its last eight games after going 0-4-0 the previous four games. Columbus has gone 14-13-1 the last 28 games after posting a 4-15-2 mark the previous 21 outings.

•G Allen York stopped 29-of-31 shots to earn the first win of his NHL career Mar. 28 vs. Detroit. He is only the fifth goaltender in the last 20 seasons to post his first NHL win in a game against the Red Wings (most recent, Devan Dubnyk, Mar. 19, 2010). York has won three-straight games after stopping 34-of-36 shots Saturday at St. Louis. He has stopped 114 of the last 120 shots he’s faced the last four games, posting a 1.56 goals-against average and .950 save percentage during that stretch.

• Tonight’s game marks the fourth and final meeting overall and second of two at Jobing.com Arena this season between the Blue Jackets and Coyotes. Columbus is 16-21-6 all-time against Phoenix, including a 6-11-4 mark at Jobing.com Arena The Blue Jackets have won three-straight and four of the last five against the Coyotes.


RADIM VRBATA

 
RW - #17
  33 GOALS
  27 ASSISTS
  60 POINTS




• Vrbata has been one of the Coyotes’ top offensive performers this year, and has scored clutch goals down the stretch as the postseason draws near. He’s tallied three times in the last two games, and is a big part of Phoenix’s dangerous No. 1 line.


D Radek Martinek (concussion); out for the season
LW Kristian Huselius (lower body); indefinitely
D Marc Methot (jaw); indefinitely
D Fedor Tyutin (hand); indefinitely
G Curtis Sanford (lower body); indefinitely
D John Moore (lower body); day-to-day
G Steve Mason (upper body); day-to-day

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - BOS 82 54 19 9 261 177 117
2 y - PIT 82 51 24 7 249 207 109
3 x - TBL 82 46 27 9 240 215 101
4 x - MTL 82 46 28 8 215 204 100
5 x - NYR 82 45 31 6 218 193 96
6 x - PHI 82 42 30 10 236 235 94
7 x - CBJ 82 43 32 7 231 216 93
8 x - DET 82 39 28 15 222 230 93
9 WSH 82 38 30 14 235 240 90
10 NJD 82 35 29 18 197 208 88
11 OTT 82 37 31 14 236 265 88
12 TOR 82 38 36 8 231 256 84
13 CAR 82 36 35 11 207 230 83
14 NYI 82 34 37 11 225 267 79
15 FLA 82 29 45 8 196 268 66
16 BUF 82 21 51 10 157 248 52

STATS

2013-2014 PLAYOFFS
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Johnson 1 1 1 0 2
D. MacKenzie 1 1 0 0 1
M. Letestu 1 1 0 1 1
B. Dubinsky 1 0 1 1 1
B. Jenner 1 0 1 -1 1
F. Tyutin 1 0 0 -1 0
J. Wisniewski 1 0 0 0 0
B. Comeau 1 0 0 -1 0
N. Nikitin 1 0 0 0 0
J. Skille 1 0 0 -1 0
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
S. Bobrovsky 0 1 0 .875 4.07
 
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