Originally posted on Fox Sports Arizona  |  Last updated 3/7/12
GLENDALE, Ariz. Those recurring first-period deficits are an easy focal point for whats ailing the Coyotes during this four-game losing streak. Theyre important, but the issues run far deeper. Its more mistake oriented than it is coming out flat, said coach Dave Tippett, who had never lost four consecutive games in regulation as Phoenixs coach before Tuesdays 3-2 setback in Columbus. Mistakes happen throughout a game, but they happen more often when players are tired from playing heavy minutes or playing more high-pressure situations. That might be a factor in goalie Mike Smiths below average play the past few games as he prepares to make his 55th start. It may also explain why forward Radim Vrbata just matched his longest goal-less drought of the season (seven games). But its absolutely been a factor with the Coyotes defense, which has been without three mainstays David Schlemko (25 games), Rostislav Klesla (nine games) and Derek Morris (11 games) -- for an extended stretch....
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