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7:00 PM PT8:00 PM MT9:00 PM CT10:00 PM ET2:00 GMT10:00 7:00 PM MST9:00 PM EST6:00 UAE (+1)22:00 ET23:00 BRT, March 14, 2019
Gila River Arena, Glendale, Arizona  Attendance: 14,202

For a change, Ducks looking to play spoiler vs. Coyotes

Anaheim Ducks at Arizona Coyotes

  1. The Ducks won their most recent matchup with the Coyotes, 3-1, on March 5 in Arizona, leveling the season series at two wins apiece. The Coyotes' wins came in OT and via shootout. Anaheim has earned points in five straight against Arizona, tied for its longest active streak against an opponent (Washington).
  2. The Ducks defeated the Predators, 3-2, in Anaheim on Tuesday. Anaheim went 0-for-1 on power plays in the game. The Ducks had lost their previous eight games with one or fewer power-play opportunities in regulation and their 16 such games this season is tied with the Maple Leafs for the most in the NHL.
  3. The Coyotes took down the Blues, 3-1, in St. Louis on Tuesday, bouncing back from a 7-1 defeat in Chicago the night before. Arizona has earned 14 points (7-1-0) in its last eight home games, its best points return in an eight-game span at home since October 22 to November 21, 2013 (15 points).
  4. Daniel Sprong lit the lamp against the Predators, his third straight game with a goal. That is Sprong's first career three-game goal streak and at 21 years old he is the youngest Ducks skater to have a three-plus game goal streak since Brandon McMillan scored in three straight in 2010-11 at age 20.
  5. Oliver Ekman-Larsson scored his tenth goal of the season against the Blues. He has scored 10 or more goals in six straight seasons, tied for the longest streak by a blueliner in Coyotes/Jets' history (Dave Ellett -- 1984-85 to 1989-90).
  6. The Coyotes have had 24 more power-play opportunities than their opponents this season, the second-highest differential in the NHL. The Ducks have had 47 fewer power-play opportunities than their opponents this season, the lowest differential in the league.

The Arizona Coyotes will head into their game Thursday night against the visiting Anaheim Ducks in an unfamiliar position.

The Coyotes have moved into a playoff spot with 12 games remaining, building excitement in a region that's more accustomed to hosting spring training games in March than rooting for its NHL team to qualify for the postseason.

Arizona took over the second wild card from the Western Conference with a 3-1 win at the St. Louis Blues on Tuesday night. The Coyotes leapfrogged the Minnesota Wild, who are 1-2-2 in their past five games.

Arizona hasn't been to the Stanley Cup Playoffs since the 2011-12 season, but coach Rick Tocchet has held firm that he's not scoreboard watching this time of year. He's just making sure the Coyotes are taking care of their own business.

"If we can win, we can control our own destiny. That's our attitude," he told reporters following the win in St. Louis. "We've got to recharge. We've got a day off (Wednesday). We've got a flight home, and we've got a big game on Thursday. That's the way we've got to think."

The Ducks are 10 points back of Arizona and recently came the realization that they'll miss the playoffs for the first time since the 2011-12 season.

Anaheim has done a good job of playing spoiler of late, winning four of its past six games with all of the wins coming against teams battling for playoff spots.

One of those wins came in Arizona on March 5, a 3-1 victory that ended the Coyotes' six-game winning streak.

While the Ducks have done a good job of playing spoiler, they've also begun integrating younger players into the lineup in preparation for next season.

"It's about building confidence with each other and within our locker room and how we have to play," Ducks captain Ryan Getzlaf said after a 3-2 win against the visiting Nashville Predators on Tuesday night. "That's what we do right now is start building, so we go into training camp next year with the right attitude."

One of the bright spots for the Ducks continues to be right wing Jakob Silfverberg, who's riding a career-long six-game point streak with four goals and four assists in that span. He's developed solid chemistry on a line with Rickard Rakell and Devin Shore, whom the Ducks acquired from the Dallas Stars on Jan. 14 in exchange for popular winger Andrew Cogliano.

"We're doing a good job as a line and we're getting rewarded too, which is nice," Silfverberg said.

The Coyotes still have a tough road ahead.

After playing the Ducks, they'll host the Edmonton Oilers on Saturday. The Oilers won four of five heading into Wednesday and still have hopes for a playoff spot, as well. The Coyotes then face a tough four-game East Coast road trip against the Tampa Bay Lightning, Florida Panthers, New Jersey Devils and New York Islanders.

Arizona was happy with its effort against the Blues on Tuesday, which came a night after they lost 7-1 at the Chicago Blackhawks.

"One thing this team does is it bounces back," Tocchet said.

--Field Level Media

Updated March 13, 2019

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