The Arizona Coyotes finally snapped their seven-game losing streak with a win against the Toronto Maple Leafs on Thursday night. The only problem is that things don't get much easier for the ‘Yotes, who find themselves in the middle of a sizable road trip. The next stop: Canadian Tire Centre in Ontario to take on the Senators of Ottawa.
Matchup at a Glance
|Arizona Coyotes||Ottawa Senators|
|Points||40 (6th Pacific)||47 (7th Atlantic)|
|Goals per game||2.3 (26th)||2.7 (19th)|
|Goals against per game||3.3 (29th)||2.8 (20th)|
|Power play||21.5 (7th)||17.6 (19th)|
|Penalty kill%||76.1 (27th)||82.6 (12th)|
|5v5 Corsi for||48.6 (23rd)||49.5 (19th)|
|PDO||97.4 (T-29th)||100.3 (15th)|
View from Arizona
The Coyotes caught the Maple Leafs at a good time. After losing seven straight, Arizona was able to snap their streak against an equally struggling Toronto team. All in all, it was as solid an effort as the Coyotes have had all season, especially from Mike Smith, who was 24-for-25 in net for the Desert Dogs. He is starting to string together some solid performances - a good sign for the immediate future.
Also, the Coyotes set a season high in shots on net with 45. Even if there were only three goals to show for it, that's solid hockey. Say what you will about tanking; the Coyotes needed a win to keep the spirits high, and got one Thursday night. The game against Ottawa is the sixth of eight consecutive road games for the Coyotes, who have gone 1-2-2 in that span.
View from Ottawa
While Ottawa hasn't been a worldbeater in the 2014-15 season, they sure had the Coyotes number in the January 10th contest in Gila River Arena. The Senators sent five goals past Smith, despite not playing overly dominant throughout.
The Senators last played Thursday night, losing a 6-3 contest to the Dallas Stars. Bobby Ryan notched two points though, continuing what has been a solid season for seven-year veteran. Only 11 points back and plenty of hockey to play, the Senators are still within sniffing distance of postseason hockey and will certainly attempt put it on the Coyotes today.
Keys to the Game
- Shoot the puck - The Coyotes threw 45 pucks on net Thursday against Ottawa. Hopefully that trend continues.
- Depth scoring - The third and fourth lines need to have a presence in this game. A goal or two wouldn't hurt, either.
- Drown the noise - With all the trade buzz being circulated, it's easier and easier to get distracted by non-hockey things. Make sure it isn't a factor though and play some hockey.
Martin Erat has been terrific over the past two games. With a goal and two helpers over the last two games, he is one of the many Coyotes who is expected to step up in Mikkel Boedker's absence.
For the Senators, Bobby Ryan was solid in Thursday's losing effort against the Stars with a goal and an assist. He also notched a goal and an assist for Team Foligno in the All Star Game on January 25th. That still counts, right?
Mikkel Boedker remains on IR following his spleen surgery. He is expected to be sidelined for at least another three-to-five weeks. Joe Vitale is also listed as questionable for tonight's game with an upper body injury. He was out for Thursday's game.
For Ottawa, both goalie Craig Anderson and center Zack Smith and on injured reserve for hand and upper body injuries, respectively. Also questionable for tonight's game winger Alex Chiasson with an undisclosed injury and Mark Borowiecki with a lower body injury.
Tonight's game in the Canadian Tire Centre in Ottawa, Ontario will be a matinee. Puck is scheduled to drop at 1 p.m. Arizona time and will be broadcast via the usual radio outlet of 98.7 FM, but will not be played on Fox Sports Arizona.