|PHX||0||2||1||(0 - 0)||3|
|CBJ||1||0||1||(0 - 0)||2|
Unable to score goals or stop opponents from putting the puck in the net, the Phoenix Coyotes are on the verge of matching their longest losing streak in nearly nine years.
A matchup with the Columbus Blue Jackets could help them end their skid.
The Coyotes look to avoid a seventh straight defeat Wednesday night when they visit a Columbus team they've dominated this season.
Phoenix (8-10-2) suffered its sixth straight loss Monday night in New York, 4-1 to the Atlantic Division-leading Rangers. The Coyotes are 0-4-2 during the skid, getting outscored 23-10. They haven't dropped seven in a row since going 0-5-2 from March 13-24, 2000.
"We've got to keep going. That's our job," captain Shane Doan said. "Someone is going to have to have a big game. Whether it's our goaltending, whether it's some of our guys on the blue line or up front, someone is going to have to do something.
"We've got to find a way to win a game and kind of get this thing going back in the right direction."
Prior to this poor stretch, Phoenix had won three straight for the first time since February.
"It's a tough scenario for our young guys to go through because I can see they're getting a little bit frustrated," coach Wayne Gretzky said. "We can't find ways to score goals right now."
Phoenix, concluding a four-game road trip, has found ways to score against Columbus (9-8-3) this season. The Coyotes have won both meetings with the Blue Jackets by a combined 8-3 and posted a season high in goals in a 5-2 victory in their last visit to Columbus on Nov. 12.
Doan had two goals and an assist in that game, giving him 12 goals and 12 assists in 30 appearances against Columbus.
The Blue Jackets avoided a third straight loss in their last outing with a 2-0 win in Atlanta on Saturday. Rick Nash extended his goal streak to five games and rookie Steve Mason had to make just 15 saves in earning his first NHL shutout.
"Overall, it was a pretty simple game, and the only hard part was staying focused," said Mason, who improved to 4-1-1 with a 2.28 goals-against average. "You try not to think about it, but obviously during the third period, it's on your mind when there are no goals up on the board."
Nash's goal was his team-best 10th of the season and he added an assist on R.J. Umberger's empty-netter with 1:18 remaining, giving him 13 points in 10 games this month. Nash scored a goal in a career-high six straight games from Dec. 30, 2005-Jan. 11, 2006.
"He's really stepped it up now," coach Ken Hitchcock told Columbus' official Web site. "He's sending a message to our own team and to the opposition early in games which I think is really helping us."
The Blue Jackets have lost three of their last four home matchups with Phoenix, which has been outscored 17-6 in dropping four in a row on the road since the Nov. 12 win.
|Dec 20 '08||CBJ 0 at PHX 2||S. Reinprecht|
|Nov 26 '08||PHX 3 at CBJ 2||V. Tikhonov|
|Nov 12 '08||PHX 5 at CBJ 2||K. Porter|
|Oct 11 '08||CBJ 1 at PHX 3||P. Mueller|