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Arizona Coyotes attempt to stabilize themselves against the Winnipeg Jets

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The Arizona Coyotes will attempt to be slightly less bad against the Jets than they were against the Blues.

Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

For the second time in three games, the Arizona Coyotes will look to rebound from an embarrassing 6-0 loss. Tonight, they will try to do it against the visiting Winnipeg Jets.

Matchup at a Glance

Winnipeg Jets Arizona Coyotes
Points 47 (4th Central) 34 (6th Pacific)
Goals For 2.52 (23rd) 2.28 (25th)
Goals Against 2.32 (4th) 3.28 (28th)
Power Play 18.0% (T-18th) 21.1 (7th)
Penalty Kill 85.1% (7th) 73.8% (30th)
5v5 Corsi For 52.0% (9th) 49.3% (20th)
PDO 99.7 (20th) 97.6 (28th)

View from Winnipeg

It's been awhile since these two teams met each other; Arizona opened its season with a 6-2 loss to the Jets in Glendale. Since then, Winnipeg has demonstrated what kind of a team they could be with competent goaltending. Thanks to great seasons from both Michael Hutchinson and Ondrej Pavelec, the Jets are in the second Wild Card spot, two points ahead of the fading Calgary Flames and five points in front of the resurgent Dallas Stars.

Their core players have been productive as well. Andrew Ladd leads the team in points, Bryan Little should probably be receiving Selke Trophy consideration at this point, and perennial Coyotes sore spot Blake Wheeler is on pace for another 20+ goal season. If the goaltending and defense hold up, the Jets could bring playoff hockey back to the 'Peg this year.

View from Arizona

There's something about the Central Division that has absolutely devastated the Arizona Coyotes this year; although their 15-20-4 record is abysmal, they are actually 10-7-0 versus the Pacific Division. However, they are 0-8-3 against Central teams this season, despite having yet to play the Chicago Blackhawks.

Despite their possession stats ticking up in recent weeks, goaltending is absolutely killing them. Mike Smith has not post a plus .900 save percentage game since Dec. 1 versus the Edmonton Oilers, and Devan Dubnyk was on the hook for six goals in their New Year's Eve loss to the Dallas Stars. Not good enough by any means.

Keys to the Game

  • Score - Someone. Anyone. Please?
  • Get Physical - Winnipeg is already razor thin on the blueline. Arizona can make their job much harder by making every shift an exhausting one.
  • Stay out of the Box - The penalty kill is now dead last in the league. Try to put it out on the ice less often.

Who's Hot

Bryan Little has two goals and six assists in his last five games, while Dustin Byfuglien seems to be doing just fine back on defense.

Martin Hanzal has recorded a goal and seven assists in his last five.

Injury Report

You could build a pretty decent blueline with Winnipeg's IR roster. Jacob Trouba (undisclosed) and Mark Stuart (lower body) are both out until February, while Grant Clitsome (undisclosed), Tobias Enstrom (lower body), and Zach Bogosian (lower body) are all out until later this month. Up front, Evander Kane (upper body) skated this week, and may actually return earlier than February, which was previously set as his timetable.

Arizona may be without Martin Hanzal (upper body) and Chris Summers (upper body). Both are considered questionable.

Puck Drop

Tonight's game starts at 7 p.m. Arizona time. You can watch it on FOX Sports Arizona or listen on KTAR 92.3 FM.