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The Arizona Coyotes will head into their game Thursday night against the visiting Anaheim Ducks in an unfamiliar position.

The Coyotes have moved into a playoff spot with 12 games remaining, building excitement in a region that's more accustomed to hosting spring training games in March than rooting for its NHL team to qualify for the postseason.

Arizona took over the second wild card from the Western Conference with a 3-1 win at the St. Louis Blues on Tuesday night. The Coyotes leapfrogged the Minnesota Wild, who are 1-2-2 in their past five games.

Arizona hasn't been to the Stanley Cup Playoffs since the 2011-12 season, but coach Rick Tocchet has held firm that he's not scoreboard watching this time of year. He's just making sure the Coyotes are taking care of their own business.

"If we can win, we can control our own destiny. That's our attitude," he told reporters following the win in St. Louis. "We've got to recharge. We've got a day off (Wednesday). We've got a flight home, and we've got a big game on Thursday. That's the way we've got to think."

The Ducks are 10 points back of Arizona and recently came the realization that they'll miss the playoffs for the first time since the 2011-12 season.

Anaheim has done a good job of playing spoiler of late, winning four of its past six games with all of the wins coming against teams battling for playoff spots.

One of those wins came in Arizona on March 5, a 3-1 victory that ended the Coyotes' six-game winning streak.

While the Ducks have done a good job of playing spoiler, they've also begun integrating younger players into the lineup in preparation for next season.

"It's about building confidence with each other and within our locker room and how we have to play," Ducks captain Ryan Getzlaf said after a 3-2 win against the visiting Nashville Predators on Tuesday night. "That's what we do right now is start building, so we go into training camp next year with the right attitude."

One of the bright spots for the Ducks continues to be right wing Jakob Silfverberg, who's riding a career-long six-game point streak with four goals and four assists in that span. He's developed solid chemistry on a line with Rickard Rakell and Devin Shore, whom the Ducks acquired from the Dallas Stars on Jan. 14 in exchange for popular winger Andrew Cogliano.

"We're doing a good job as a line and we're getting rewarded too, which is nice," Silfverberg said.

The Coyotes still have a tough road ahead.

After playing the Ducks, they'll host the Edmonton Oilers on Saturday. The Oilers won four of five heading into Wednesday and still have hopes for a playoff spot, as well. The Coyotes then face a tough four-game East Coast road trip against the Tampa Bay Lightning, Florida Panthers, New Jersey Devils and New York Islanders.

Arizona was happy with its effort against the Blues on Tuesday, which came a night after they lost 7-1 at the Chicago Blackhawks.

"One thing this team does is it bounces back," Tocchet said.

--Field Level Media