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Coyotes vs Hurricanes Preview: still looking for the turnaround

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The Arizona Coyotes have had a stretch of bad games but are looking to get a win against one of the teams in the bottom of the league, the Carolina Hurricanes.

Christian Petersen/Getty Images

The Arizona Coyotes have lost their past three games in spectacular fashion, and the team needs to figure out a way to right the ship before things get even worse. They'll get a chance against the Carolina Hurricanes tonight.

Matchup at a Glance

Arizona Coyotes Carolina Hurricanes
Points 27 (3rd Pacific) 22 (8th Metro)
Goals For 2.69 (12th) 2.08 (28th)
Goals Against 3.08 (29th) 2.92 (25th)
Power Play 15.1% (28th) 12.2% (30th)
Penalty Kill 81.6% (12th) 76.2% (25th)
5v5 Corsi For 46.4% (26th) 54.5% (3rd)
PDO 101.3 (8th) 95.9 (30th)

Stats from war-on-ice.com

View from Arizona

Many people predicted that the Arizona Coyotes would be bad this season, and when they made those predictions they probably thought it would be something like last week. The team gave up five goals in each of their three games, illustrating the weaknesses the team has on defense. It doesn't help that the team has been outshot 113-62 in the three games.

Despite three bad losses, it hasn't been all disastrous. Max Domi has two goals and an assist despite the team being terrible, and fellow rookie Jordan Martinook had the lone goal against the Detroit Red Wings. Its good that the rookies are contributing, but the rest of the team needs to find a way to contribute too.

View from Carolina

For the Carolina perspective check out Canes Country

The Hurricanes have not had a good season. They are currently at 22 points, tied for the bottom of the league with the Calgary Flames and Edmonton Oilers. They are near the bottom in goals for and for goals against, although they still have fewer goals against compared to the Coyotes. While they have good Corsi percentages, their PDO is abysmal, which is an indication that luck (and goaltending) have been major problems this year.

For the Canes, Eric Staal is deep in the trade rumor mill (including a Evgeni Malkin for Eric Staal deal that was understandably ridiculous). Defenseman Justin Faulk is currently leading the team in points with 8 goals and 10 assists, Coyotes fans can relate to a team that has a defenseman leading at the top of the team in points.

In goal Cam Ward has not been good this season, and Eddie Lack has also struggled, with a .865 save percentage and 3.54 goals against average. The goaltending situation has been an issue in Carolina for years now.

Keys to the Game

  • Shoot. Getting outshot every game is not a recipe for winning, and 113-62 in three games should be unacceptable for everyone on the team.
  • Goaltending. In general you can't blame the goaltending for the team's recent losses, there are a lot of problems everywhere else on the ice, but with the way things are going Anders Lindback or Smith will need to steal a game.
  • Play a full 60 minute game. There has been at least one period in each of the last three losses where the Coyotes surrendered three goals. That can't happen.

Players to Watch

Domi had a solid game against Buffalo with the only two goals of the game and playing 19:20. Before that he had assists in four of the past five games, and he is definitely making a case for winning the Calder.

Jeff Skinner scored two goals in Carolina's recent tilt against the Montreal Canadiens, and has seven goals and two assists on the season.

Injury Report

Captain Coyote Shane Doan is questionable for today and likely will not play. Joe Vitale remains on the injured reserve with a fractured orbital bone.

James Wisniewski has a torn ACL and will be out for a few more months, and Nathan Gerbe is on the injured reserve and will miss two to four more weeks.

Puck Drop

Tonight's game will be at 3pm Arizona time and will only be available on the radio on KTAR News 92.3FM.