Blue Jackets vs. Coyotes Preview
Glendale, Arizona (AP) - After losing again in a building in which they rarely win, the Columbus Blue Jackets now face a team they have trouble scoring against.
The Blue Jackets haven't recorded more than two goals in any of their last 10 meetings with the Phoenix Coyotes, whom they face Tuesday night at Jobing.com Arena.
According to NHL odds and oddsmakers from online sports book Sportsbook.com have made the Coyotes -145 money line favorites for Tuesday's game against the Blue Jackets. Current NHL Public Betting Information shows that 76% of more than 204 bets for this game have been placed on the Coyotes -145.
Columbus (20-16-3) fell 4-1 at Nashville on Sunday, snapping its three-game win streak and giving the Blue Jackets the longest current drought for a visiting team in any arena. They are 0-10-5 in their last 15 at the Bridgestone Arena.
Scoring against Phoenix (17-13-8) has been similarly problematic, with Columbus going 2-7-1 in those last 10 matchups. Ilya Bryzgalov is 4-1-0 with a 1.20 goals-against average in his last five starts against the Blue Jackets, while backup Jason LaBarbera has gone 4-2-0 with a 1.33 GAA in six career starts versus Columbus.
The Coyotes, though, have yielded 13 goals in going 1-1-1 over their last three games. Phoenix rallied from a two-goal deficit to take the lead in Minnesota on Sunday, but allowed the tying goal with 26 seconds left in regulation and lost 6-5 in overtime.
"We have to find a way to win, and we haven't done it,'' captain Shane Doan said. "You give up one in the last minute, you're never too happy with the results."
Doan had two assists to give him a six-game point streak, with 21 points in the past 19. Former Blue Jackets winger Ray Whitney scored twice and Radim Vrbata added two assists.
The Coyotes have scored three or more goals in a period in their last three games, but their four-goal outburst in the third Sunday wasn't enough.
"It's kind of been the last few weeks a bit of an emotional roller coaster," defenseman Ed Jovanovski said. "We get down in the game, get back, take the lead and then kind of go sideways."
Phoenix allowed Minnesota to score on its lone power-play chance, dropping the Coyotes' penalty killing percentage to 78.4 - among the worst in the NHL. Columbus is the Western Conference's worst team on the power play at 12.2 percent.
R.J. Umberger scored for the third straight game to give the Blue Jackets a 1-0 lead after the first period Sunday, but they were outshot 19-12 the rest of the way.
"In the first period we got pucks in, got after them, and forced them to turn pucks over,'' coach Scott Arniel said. "(In the second), they did the exact opposite. They did the same thing. Once the first couple went it, it was scramble mode."
Captain Rick Nash has no goals and three assists in his last five road games. The Blue Jackets have gone 1-6-2 on the road since starting 8-1-0 away from home.
Steve Mason has started the last four games, going 3-1-0 with a 2.91 GAA. He's 0-4-0 with a 3.31 GAA in his career against Phoenix.Backup Mathieu Garon could be a better choice to play Tuesday, as he's gone 6-4-2 with a 2.32 GAA in 12 starts versus the Coyotes.
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