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Coyotes try to bounce back versus the Oilers tonight in Edmonton

The Arizona Coyotes look to rebound tonight in Edmonton versus the Oilers.

Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

Forget last night's 7-1 blowout in Vancouver, because tonight the Arizona Coyotes take on a team that they can at least beat (fingers crossed): the Edmonton Oilers. The Oilers are still struggling as they are on a seven game losing streak and the Coyotes have only won two games of their last nine played.

Buckle up, tonight should be fun.

Matchup at a Glance

Arizona Coyotes Edmonton Oilers
Points 26 (6th Pacific) 21 (7th Pacific)
Goals For 2.21 (25th) 2.18 (26th)
Goals Against 3.30 (28th) 3.35 (29th)
Power Play 20.0% (T-10th) 13.4% (27th)
Penalty Kill 73.9% (29th) 79.4% (T-19th)
5v5 Corsi For % 48.8 (23rd) 50.2 (19th)
PDO 97.7 (27th) 97.2 (29th)

The View From Arizona

Like noted above, the Coyotes were mauled in Vancouver, as the Canucks, who were struggling, took down the Yotes by a score of 7-1. Yeah, it wasn't a good game but you should be happy about tonight's matchup in Edmonton. Tonight's game will mark the fifth and final meeting of the season, and the Coyotes have taken all four games thus far. It's a shame the Coyotes and Oilers meet for the final time this season. But can the Coyotes sweep the season series and get back on the winning track tonight?

I would expect the Yotes to start Devan Dubnyk tonight after Mike Smith allowed four goals on 11 shots faced. It's no secret that Smith has been struggling this season, so I think we should see Dubnyk, who has been pretty good tis season, in net tonight.

The View From Edmonton

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The Oilers are still the Oilers. They haven't won a game with their new bench boss and I don't see their season improving anytime soon. The Oilers have only won one game in the month of December and they have not beaten the Coyotes yet this season. The Oilers can try and snap the Coyotes perfect series streak tonight, but the odds are not on their side.

The Oilers last game was on Monday, where they lost to the Dallas Stars in the shootout by a score of 6-5. The Oilers at one point had a nice lead, but the Stars made a nice comeback to take down the Oil.

Even though the Coyotes have struggled substantially in net, tonight they will face Ben Scrivens, who has posted a sub .900 save percentage in two of his last three starts.

Keys to the Game

  • Goaltending - As noted above, the Coyotes need consistent goaltending - and they don't have that. Smith has had a very tough season (5-15-2 record) and is one of the worst goaltenders in the NHL right now. Dubnyk has had a relatively nice season by comparison (6-3-2 record).
  • Special Teams - The Coyotes currently sit 10th in the NHL in the power-play department at 20.0%. If the Coyotes get an opportunity on the power-play, then you need to take full advantage of it as the Oilers sit 20th in the league in the penalty-kill department.

Who's Hot

Keith Yandle notched the secondary assist on Oliver Ekman-Larsson's goal last night in Vancouver. He's far and away been the team's best player all year.

Similarly, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins has been the Oilers' best all season. He had an assist in Sunday's debacle against the Stars, and has recorded at least a point in four of Edmonton's last five games.

Injury Report

Lauri Korpikoski (lower body) is officially on injured reserve, though that designation was retroactive so he may come off IR relatively soon. Brandon Gormley (undisclosed) was activated yesterday from his conditioning assignment in Portland but did not play. There's a good chance he draws in tonight.

Nikita Nikitin (back) participated in practice, but will not play tonight. Benoit Pouliot remains on injured reserve and likely will not be back until January. Matt Hendricks (illness) is out tonight, and will be replaced by Luke Gadzic.

Puck Drop

Tonight's game will get underway shortly after 6:00 p.m. Arizona time. There's no local TV coverage of tonight's game, though if you have Gamecenter Live or Center Ice you will be able to watch the Edmonton broadcast. The radio feed is on 98.7 FM.