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Coyotes end their road trip in Columbus versus the Blue Jackets

The Arizona Coyotes will try to conclude their road trip with a win when they take on the Columbus Blue Jackets.

Christian Petersen/Getty Images

The Arizona Coyotes have been away from Gila River Arena long enough. But before they can come home, they have one last game to play. Arizona will play the Columbus Blue Jackets Tuesday evening to end eight consecutive games on the road.

Matchup at a Glance

Arizona Coyotes Columbus Blue Jackets
Points 42 (6th Pacific) 45 (7th Metropolitan)
Goals For 2.26 (27th) 2.42 (24th)
Goals Against 3.32 (29th) 3.12 (26th)
Power Play 22.1% (7th) 22.8% (5th)
Penalty Kill 77.1% (27th) 80.7% (T-18th)
5v5 Corsi For 48.7% (23rd) 46.2% (25th)
PDO 97.2 (30th) 99.2 (23rd)

View from Arizona

It's rare this season that Arizona plays two teams in a row with worse possession stats. After beating a Montreal Canadiens team that played without Carey Price, the Coyotes will play another NHL team without its stud goaltender. Sergei Bobrovsky is on injured reserve with a lower body injury for the immediate future.

Bobrovsky probably won't mind missing this game that much. The Coyotes chased him from the last meeting, a 6-3 home victory all the way back on January 3rd. Now the two teams will finish their season series exactly one month from when it started.

View from Columbus

The injury bug really took its toll on the Jackets this year; only Ryan Johansen and David Savard have dressed in every single game for Columbus. Unfortunately for them, the team has not gotten tremendously better since they got healthier. Columbus is 3-7-0 in their last ten, and is a full 15 points out of the Wild Card. Given the number of teams they will have to climb over, the playoffs seem like a remote possibility.

Which is bad news for the rest of the Eastern Conference. Columbus has an excellent core of young forwards and defensemen, and a great goaltender in Bobrovsky. While it's unlikely they will be this banged up in future seasons, they will get a relatively high draft selection out of this season, which should make an already good team even better.

Keys to the Game

  • Better Flow Control - The Coyotes took possession of major stretches of the Montreal game, and kept the Habs out of their defensive end. They'll have a chance to do the same tonight.
  • Net Front Presence - Arizona's first goal against Montreal was a product of sending a player to the front of the net to get a deflection. Their other two took advantage of traffic in front. There's a pattern here: net-front presence = goals.
  • Don't Look Ahead - It will be nice to be back in Glendale to play a game. That game is not until Thursday though. The Coyotes need to make sure they show up tonight and finish out the road trip strong.

Who's Hot

Lauri Korpikoski has two goals and two assists in his last four games. That's some solid secondary scoring.

Points have been at a bit of a premium for the Jackets over the last week. Cam Atkinson does have a goal and two assists in the Jackets' last three contests though.

Injury Report

Mikkel Boedker (spleen) remains on IR, while Dave Tippett expected both Martin Hanzal and Joe Vitale to miss tonight's game with upper body injuries.

Apart from the above-mentioned Bobrovsky injury, the Jackets have Nathan Horton (degenerative back), Brian Gibbons (knee), and Jeremy Morin (heart) on injured reserve. Boone Jenner (back) isn't expected back until the end of the month, while Matt Calvert (illness) may be unavailable for tonight's game.

Puck Drop

Tonight's game begins at 5 PM Arizona time. You can watch the game on Fox Sports Arizona or listen on ESPN 620 AM.