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Preview: Coyotes at Canucks

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

Two teams who have struggled to record victories this month meet when the Phoenix Coyotes end a three-game road swing at the Vancouver Canucks on Sunday. Phoenix is 4-8-0 in January, but has grabbed three wins in its last five contests and stands 10th in the Western Conference - four points behind the Canucks. Vancouver is starving for goals with just eight in its last seven games, and won only three times in the previous 11 contests.

The Canucks will likely play their third consecutive game without captain Henrik Sedin (ribs), who shares the team lead in scoring with twin brother Daniel at 40 points. The latter's goal drought has reached 11 games as Vancouver dropped to the bottom third of the league in scoring. Phoenix is 2-0-1 in three games against the Canucks this season, including a 1-0 triumph at home Jan. 16.

TV: 8 p.m. ET, FSN Arizona (Phoenix), SNET-P (Vancouver)

ABOUT THE COYOTES (24-18-9): Phoenix held off an Edmonton rally for a 4-3 victory on Friday and it will play five straight at home after the battle with the Canucks. Mike Ribeiro has collected two goals and two assists over the last three games to tie Radim Vrbata for the team lead in points with 36. The Coyotes are as healthy as they have been in a while with center Martin Hanzal rejoining the lineup on Friday while defenseman Keith Yandle has produced six points in his last six games.

ABOUT THE CANUCKS (26-17-9): Vancouver has not scored more than two goals in a victory since Dec. 14 and look to get on track during the next three home games before going on the road for five prior to the Olympic break. Roberto Luongo has played just fine, allowing only five goals in three games since returning from an injury, and boasts a .924 save percentage overall. United States Olympic team center Ryan Kesler leads Vancouver with 18 goals, but has been held to one over the last eight contests.

OVERTIME

1. Phoenix has at least one power-play goal in nine of its last 10 games and Vancouver is 2-of-30 with the man advantage in the last eight contests.

2. Vancouver F Mike Santorelli, who has 28 points and a plus-9 rating to share the team lead, is out indefinitely with shoulder injury.

3. Coyotes G Mike Smith made 29 saves to blank Vancouver 10 days ago and allowed five goals combined in the other two meetings this season.

PREDICTION: Canucks 4, Coyotes 2

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/thomson-reuters/140126/preview-coyotes-at-canucks