Phoenix
Coyotes
38-39-5
Columbus
Blue Jackets
35-43-4

36 SOG
33 SOG
1st2nd3rdT
PHX
CBJ
game preview

Coyotes-Blue Jackets Preview

Tuesday, 03.21.2006 / 7:00 PM

Associated Press

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Coyotes-Blue Jackets Preview
Phoenix Coyotes vs. Columbus Blue Jackets

GAME: Phoenix Coyotes (31-33-4) at Columbus Blue Jackets (26-39-3).

TIME: Tuesday, 7 p.m. EST.

The Columbus Blue Jackets try to avoid a five-game losing streak when they host the Phoenix Coyotes, a team they have beaten in consecutive meetings.

Columbus goaltender Marc Denis allowed three unanswered goals Sunday as the Blue Jackets suffered their fourth straight one-goal loss, 4-3 to the Anaheim Mighty Ducks.

"I am real disappointed," Columbus coach Gerard Gallant said. "We played about 40 minutes. The Ducks were hungrier."

The Blue Jackets have struggled all season and have not made the playoffs in their five-season history.

Left wing Rick Nash has been one of the few bright spots recently for the Jackets. He has scored 21 goals and 38 points in 40 games this season, including four goals and eight points in his last six.

The 21-year-old needs 19 points in 14 games to match his career high of 57 points, set in 2003-04. He has two goals and two assists in his last two games against the Coyotes.

The Coyotes look to win back-to-back games for the first time since Jan. 26-28. They are 2-2 on their current five-game road trip.

Curtis Joseph made 34 saves as the Coyotes won 3-2 at Chicago on Sunday.

"Cujo was amazing for us again," said Phoenix's Paul Mara, who scored the opening goal of the game.

Joseph has posted 23 wins this season, all of them coming in regulation. He has a 1.90 goals-against average with two shutouts and a .934 save percentage in his victories.

If he starts against Columbus, the 16-year-veteran will try for his 423rd career win, which would tie him with former Blackhawks' great Tony Esposito for sixth all-time. Joseph has the most wins of any goalie to never win the Vezina Trophy.

STANDINGS: Coyotes - 66 points, 5th place, 27 PB, Pacific Division. Blue Jackets - 55 points, 3rd place, 44 PB, Central Division.

TEAM LEADERS: Coyotes - Shane Doan, 24 goals and 114 PIM; Ladislav Nagy, 41 assists and 56 points; Doan, 114 PIM. Blue Jackets - Nikolai Zherdev, 25 goals; David Vyborny, 33 assists; Zherdev and Vyborny, 49 points; Jody Shelley, 136 PIM.

SPECIAL TEAMS: Coyotes - Power play: 18.1 percent (82 for 453), 14th in NHL. Penalty killing: 81.7 percent (352 for 431), 20th. Blue Jackets - Power play: 14.2 percent (55 for 387), 29th. Penalty killing: 80.8 percent (357 for 442), 23rd.

GOALTENDERS: Coyotes - Joseph (26-20-2, 2 SO, 3.00 GAA); Philippe Sauve (3-5-0, 0, 3.36). Blue Jackets - Denis (16-24-0, 1, 3.35); Pascal Leclaire (7-12-3, 0, 3.38).

SEASON SERIES: Blue Jackets, 2-1.

LAST MEETING: March 9; Blue Jackets, 5-4. At Columbus, Ohio, Michael Rupp, Jason Chimera, Jan Hrdina, Nash and Zherdev scored for Columbus as Phoenix's late two-goal rally fell short.

ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Coyotes - 15-17-1 on the road; Blue Jackets - 17-16-0 at home.

2005-2006 season series
DateScoreW. Goal
Mar 21 '06PHX 5 at CBJ 2S. Doan
Mar 09 '06PHX 4 at CBJ 5J. Chimera
Jan 08 '06CBJ 5 at PHX 2B. Berard
Nov 20 '05CBJ 1 at PHX 5L. Nagy
PlayerGPGAP+/-PIMPPGW
GoalieGPRec.GASAGAASv%
PlayerGPGAP+/-PIMPPGW
GoalieGPRec.GASAGAASv%
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