Matchup at a Glance
|Arizona Coyotes (2-2-1)||Minnesota Wild (2-2-0)|
|Points||5 (6th Pacific)||4th (5th Central)|
|Goals Per Game||3.20 (6th)||2.50 (T-18th)|
|Goals Against Per Game||4.20 (30th)||1.00 (1st)|
|Power Play Percentage||30.0% (6/20) (2nd)||0.0% (0/16) (T-28th)|
|Penalty Kill Percentage||79.0% (15/19) (19th)||92.3% (12/13) (T-2nd)|
|5v5 Fenwick For Percentage||52.36 (14th)||59.83% (2nd)|
|PDO||95.27 (28th)||102.08 (10th)|
View from Arizona
The shootout loss to the Nashville Predators on Tuesday night featured several positives for the Coyotes. Arizona managed to limit the damage in the first period, and mounted tough offensive pressure down the stretch to secure at least a point from the game. The power play continues to be a major strength of the team.
Still, there are lingering defensive issues that the Coyotes have been unable to address. The team held a third period lead for less than two minutes thanks to soft defending. As a result, the Coyotes squandered a chance to leave Nashville with a regulation win.
View from Minnesota
For the Coyotes, Martin Erat is already poised to tie his goal total from last season thanks to a goal in the previous game. It appears he will bounce back from a career low season quite nicely.
Kuemper is off to an astonishingly good start for the Wild. In three appearances, he is 2-1-0 with a 0.67 GAA and a .972 SV%.
Keys to the Game
- Escape the First - Minnesota doesn't surrender goals. Arizona tends to do so early on. The Coyotes need a clean sheet after 20 minutes as a confidence booster.
- Make the Goalie's Life Easier - No matter who starts, the Coyotes have made their goaltenders work hard because of soft coverage down low and easy zone entries. Arizona has to make Minnesota's offense work for their chances.
- Get a Good Game From OEL - Oliver Ekman-Larsson is still probably the team's best defenseman. He needs to really look like it against this Wild team.
Martin Hanzal (lower body) will not play in tonight's game. The Coyotes are completely healthy otherwise.
Josh Harding (broken foot) will continue to miss several months, while Keith Ballard (illness) will not play tonight. Thomas Vanek (thumb) will likely draw into the lineup.
Tonight's contest begins at 5 p.m. Arizona time. You can catch the game on Fox Sports Arizona or 620 AM.