Originally posted on Fox Sports Arizona  |  Last updated 11/15/11
The Phoenix Coyotes have already started a daunting five-game road trip in impressive fashion. They tend to be impressive against the Toronto Maple Leafs no matter where they play. The surging Coyotes look to equal their longest road winning streak of last season by beating the Maple Leafs for a sixth straight time Tuesday night. Phoenix (8-4-3) is 6-1-2 since dropping four of its first six games of the season. The Coyotes have also won four straight on the road - where they won five in a row Jan. 6-26 - including a 3-0 victory at San Jose on Saturday to open this trip. They now head East for four games, including a meeting with Philadelphia and their former goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov on Thursday before visiting Buffalo and Washington. First, they'll contend with surprising Toronto (10-6-1) for the only time this season. "It's a tough one," captain Shane Doan told the Coyotes' official website, "... but it's fun, too. It's a great challenge and you get an opportunity to play against teams you don't normally get to see and compare yourself to the teams that are playing well." Phoenix has outscored the Maple Leafs 26-11 during its five-game winning streak in the series, including a 5-1 home victory in last season's only meeting. Radin Vrbata has three goals and two assists in Phoenix's last three games against the Leafs, including a goal in last season's matchup. The right wing is tied with Ray Whitney for the team lead with six goals and his 13 points rank second on the Coyotes. Vrbata has three goals in his last two road games including one Saturday. The Maple Leafs have dropped three of four with all of the losses coming at Air Canada Centre. They've been outscored 17-3 in those defeats, including a 5-2 defeat to Ottawa on Saturday, when the Toronto fans booed their team in the third period. Linemates Tyler Bozak and Joffrey Lupul scored for Toronto, which held a 33-24 shot advantage with 16 coming in the third period. Bozak and Lupul's line also includes Phil Kessel, the NHL's top scorer with 12 goals and 24 points. The trio has four of Toronto's six goals over the last three games. Kessel has nine goals and seven assists at home. The Maple Leafs are hoping to get center Tim Connolly back soon. He's missed three games with an upper-body injury after sitting out eight games last month. "I've seemed to really turn a corner here and it's only a matter of days before I'm back ready to go," Connolly told the team's official website. "I wasn't at 100 percent out there (in practice Monday) but felt pretty good so we will see how I feel (Tuesday)."
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