Wednesday, February 18, 2004

GameDay: vs. Phoenix (19-22-14-3, 55) 7:00 EST

Tonight is the third of four games between these two teams this season. They skated to a 3-3 tie on January 6th in Detroit and the Coyotes won 5-2 on January 24th in Phoenix. The Wings are 5-1-2 in their last eight games and are coming off a 2-1 win over the Oilers on Monday night. They have a league-best 21-5-3-0 record at home and are 2-1 so far in a five-game homestand. The other two games were a 5-2 loss to the Avs and a 4-2 win over the Sharks. The Wings' leading scorer is Pavel Datsyuk, who has gone cold lately, with 56 points. The Coyotes are 1-7-1-1 since beating the Wings on the 24th, ten games ago and they have earned only ten points over their previous 17 games. They are coming off a 4-2 loss to the Blues on Monday but beat the Stars 3-2 on Saturday. They are exactly .500 on the road (10-10-10-1) and that loss to the Blues made them 0-1-0 on a short two-game road trip. The Coyotes' leading scorer is Shane Doan, who has 59 points. Dave Lewis said Legace will get the start tonight. He said earlier that Marc Lamothe might get a start sometime this week so it looks like Friday's game against St. Louis would be the day. Pavel Datsyuk and Jason Woolley did not practice yesterday. Pavel stayed home because he felt sick and Woolley was sore. Both of them are expected to play tonight. Remember, the game starts at 7:00 EST tonight because of a national broadcast. This should be a good chance for the Wings to continue what they started on Monday night. The Oilers game was an improvement on Saturday's debacle but they'll need to play even better tonight to beat the Coyotes, who have a very good goalie in Brian Boucher. As long as they play with a high level of energy and pursue the puck, they should be fine. They will have to look for breaks because Boucher is sure to make scoring tough. Freep News ESPN


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