The Anaheim Ducks have struggled mightily in the scoring department during the early part of this season, but they're not the most offensively challenged team at the moment.
The Arizona Coyotes have failed to score a goal in their past two games, a streak they hope to end on Thursday night against the Ducks in Glendale, Ariz.
Arizona lost 1-0 against the visiting Vegas Golden Knights on Sunday, and 1-0 again on Tuesday against the visiting Ducks.
The lack of offense has spoiled back-to-back stellar performances by Arizona goalie Darcy Kuemper, who has combined to save 49 of 51 shots in the past two games.
"We've got to get some shots through, some hard shots," Coyotes coach Rick Tocchet said.
It might require more than just hard shots to beat Anaheim goalie John Gibson, who had 31 saves on Tuesday in his second shutout of the season. Gibson has come within minutes of two other shutouts this season.
His .948 save percentage and 1.67 goals-against average are tops in the league among goalies with at least five appearances.
Ducks coach Dallas Eakins said Gibson has been extremely focused ever since the first day of training camp and has been practicing in earnest, getting quality rest and recovery off the ice.
"I think it's a great example of, when you've got all of that stuff in line, what your performance looks like," Eakins said.
Eakins is really hoping the Ducks can provide Gibson with room for error. They're last in the NHL in scoring after combining for 14 goals in seven games and remain the only team in the NHL without a power-play goal, going 0-for-16 with the man advantage.
The Ducks finished 30th out of 31 teams in goals per game (2.49) last season.
"We knew we weren't going to score a whole lot more goals (this season), even though we're going to do our best to employ certain tactics to get that done," Eakins said. "We've just got to check and keep these teams down to as few goals as we can."
Anaheim has started to get some key players on the scoresheet, however.
Adam Henrique, Rickard Rakell and Jakob Silfverberg, the top three goal scorers for the Ducks last season, each scored their first goals of the season in a two-game series against the visiting Colorado Avalanche last weekend.
Danton Heinen scored the only goal against the Coyotes on Tuesday, his first of the season.
"It's tough to score in this league," Heinen said. "I've got to do a better job of, when I do get those looks, kind of bearing down and at least make the goalie make a mistake."
Tocchet said he was happy with Arizona's time of possession against the Ducks on Tuesday, and recognizes that the Coyotes are up against a hot goalie in Gibson, but "you've got to find a way to score."
Although the Ducks are at the bottom of the league in power-play efficiency, they're near the top on the penalty kill. Anaheim killed all three Arizona power plays on Tuesday to improve to 20-for-22 on the season, a big reason they're steadily collecting points.
"We've still got a lot of stuff to clean up in our game and get better at, but it's certainly a good feeling getting the points," Eakins said.
--Field Level Media