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Arizona Coyotes get right back to work versus the New York Rangers

The Arizona Coyotes are right back in action at home.

Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

The Arizona Coyotes will not have to stomach their most recent loss for long. The Coyotes are right back in action again at home when they take on the New York Rangers for the first time this season.

Matchup at a Glance

New York Rangers Arizona Coyotes
Points 69 (3rd Metropolitan) 47 (6th Pacific)
Goals For 3.04 (4th) 2.21 (27th)
Goals Against 2.38 (4th) 3.20 (28th)
Power Play 20.0% (9th) 22.8% (5th)
Penalty Kill 82.3% (13th) 78.1% (26th)
5v5 Corsi For 50.0% (18th) 48.6% (23rd)
PDO 101.7 (2nd) 97.7 (29th)

View from New York

The New York Rangers are finishing a brief two game stint in the Western Conference after soundly defeating the Colorado Avalanche 6-3 Thursday night. The Rangers are one of those teams that does nearly everything right. They are led on offense by the incredibly dangerous Rick Nash, who has 34 goals and 20 assists on the season. But he's supplemented with dynamic players like Derek Brassard, Martin St. Louis, Mats Zuccarello, and Carl Hagelin.

But the success of New York truly lies on the shoulders of Henrik Lundqvist. King Henrik is 25-11-3 with a .922 save percentage and a 2.25 GAA. Unfortunately for New York, Lundqvist is currently lying at home after a dangerous vascular injury to his neck. Goaltending duties fall to Cam Talbot, who has a .913 save percentage and a 2.44 GAA in 16 appearances. While both numbers are decent they are not world shattering, so the Rangers need Lundqvist back as soon as possible to have a shot at the Cup.

View from Arizona

What Arizona does down the middle of its lineup may be the most intriguing question remaining in what has otherwise been a forgettable season. With Antoine Vermette among the league's most coveted trade targets and Martin Hanzal likely done for the season, the Coyotes are looking quite thin at center.

To allay some of those concerns, General Manager Don Maloney claimed former Edmonton Oilers, Nashville Predators, and Pittsburgh Penguins center Mark Arcobello off of waivers earlier this week. He immediately rewarded Maloney's confidence by scoring on his first shift in Sedona Red. As a restricted free agent, Arcobello could actually prove to be a nice depth acquisition for a team sorely lacking in that department at the center position.

Keys to the Game

  • Remember It's Not Lundqvist - Talbot is far less experienced and far more vulnerable than Lundqvist is. That could play to Arizona's advantage if they harass him a lot with net front traffic and shots from practically everywhere.
  • Foot on the Gas - The Coyotes rocketed out to a 2-0 lead against San Jose last night before conceding the next four. The Coyotes are going to have to be better at managing the game in the future.
  • Protect the Goalie - Chris Krieder has a...um, peculiar tendency to run into opposing goaltenders. Arizona needs to prevent that from happening.

Who's Hot

Don't mess with Rick Nash. The All-Star forward has three goals and five assists in his last five games. Nice to see he's sharing the love.

Keith Yandle cracked 40 points on the year with a helper last night. He doesn't score a whole lot of goals, but everyone around him does when he's quarterbacking the power play.

Injury Report

New York will be without the services of Henrik Lundqvist until early-March. They also will miss Jesper Fest until later this month.

Arizona is likely to do without Martin Hanzal for the rest of the season, while Joe Vitale and Mikkel Boedker remain on IR. Also questionable is Alexandre Bolduc, who missed yesterday's game with an undisclosed injury.

Puck Drop

Tonight's game begins at 6 PM Arizona time. You can watch the game on Fox Sports Arizona or listen on ESPN 620 AM.