Honda Center, 8 pm ET
SERIES: Phoenix 2-3-0; Anaheim 3-2-0
IMPLICATIONS: The Coyotes, one of three teams -- Angeles and Calgary are the others -- to enter Sunday night's action tied with 81 points in the West, could jump to fourth with a victory, depending how today's other games shake out. (Chicago also started the day with 81 points, but earned a point via an OT loss Washington in early action Sunday.) Anaheim could hop back into the top-8 with a victory.
BREAKDOWN: The Ducks have 14 games left, eight against Pacific Division opponents counting tonight’s contest. (Eleven of those games are also against teams ahead of them in the conference standings. The Ducks are 19-9-1 since forward Ryan Getzlaf (out 14 games with a sinus injury) returned to the lineup on Dec. 28. Anaheim has made the run largely without No. 1 goalie Jonas Hiller, who has played only twice since the All-Star break due to vertigo. Dan Ellis is 5-1-1 with a 2.22 goals-against average since he was acquired before the trading deadline from Tampa Bay. Ray Emery is also up with the club and waiting for his first NHL start in 13 months.
After a five-game skid, the Coyotes are 2-0-1 over the last three. Former Ducks goalie Ilya Bryzgalov in net. The Coyotes have been outshot in 41 of the last 69 games, so Bryzgalov has a lot to do with the the Coyotes being in contention. Defenseman Keith Yandle, a Norris Trophy candidate, enters Sunday tied with Anaheim's Lubomir Visnovsky and Detroit's Nicklas Lidstrom in scoring with 55 points.
MATCHUP TO WATCH: Phoenix F Shane Doan vs. Anaheim F Corey Perry. Doan leads the Coyotes with seven points (two goals, five assists) in the first five meetings and he has 56 career points against Anaheim. Perry, who began the day tied for fifth in in the NHL in scoring (73 points), has 22 points over the last 16 games.
KEY STAT: Plus-30. The plus-minus for Ducks defenseman Toni Lydman, tops in the NHL.
-- A.J. Perez
Photo: Getty Images