Matchup at a Glance
|Vancouver Canucks||Arizona Coyotes|
|Points||86 (2nd Pacific)||50 (7th Pacific)|
|Goals For||2.80 (12th)||1.99 (29th)|
|Goals Against||2.68 (20th)||3.25 (28th)|
|Power Play||17.3% (20th)||20.2% (7th)|
|Penalty Kill||85.5% (3rd)||78.4% (26th)|
|5v5 SAT||49.7% (T-20th)||49.0% (22nd)|
|SpSV%||100.3 (T-14th)||96.8 (30th)|
View from Vancouver
View from Arizona
Mike Smith's solid play Saturday night against the Pittsburgh Penguins was marred by a very unfortunate goal off of the backside of Brandon Sutter. Smith has not been the problem for the Coyotes in the month of March, which is good news for the Coyotes going into the 2015-16 season.
What has been a albatross on the Coyotes has been their inability to score. Arizona did not score at even-strength or with the man-advantage versus Pittsburgh, a team that had lost four straight and was struggling to stay out of the penalty box. The team did score a shorthanded goal, but opportunistic goals are much harder to come by compared to goals produced as part of systemic offensive pressure.
Keys to the Game
- Make Markstrom's Life Hard - For whatever reason, Jacob Markstrom has not been able to figure out the NHL. Arizona may not get a better chance to score multiple goals than tonight.
- Good Work in the Neutral Zone - Zone entries in both directions are particularly important to minimizing scoring chances against and generating scoring chances for. The Coyotes need to force Vancouver to dump and chase as often as possible while Arizona needs to fight to carry puck in as much as possible.
- Work the Winning Formula - Arizona's last victory was against this Canucks team. In that game, they were fundamentally sound on defense and made the most of their forecheck. If they can replicate tonight what they did on Throwback Night, they can win.
With a goal last night, Daniel Sedin now has two goals and two assists in his last four games. His stat line is eerily similar to his brother Henrik's: both have 46 assists, and were tied with 15 goals before last night.
Tobias Rieder appears to be the depth draft pick that winning teams need to contend. The former fourth round pick scored his third shorthanded goal of the season last night, and has had a hand (two goals and an assist) in three of the last five goals the Coyotes have scored.
Vancouver will not have Ryan Miller (leg) in net for the remainder of the regular season, while both Zach Kassian (back) and Brad Richardson (ankle) are not expected to play tonight.
Mikkel Boedker and Martin Hanzal will not return for the rest of the season, while Martin Erat is considered questionable tonight after missing yesterday's game.
Tonight's game begins at 5 PM Arizona time. You can see the game on Fox Sports Arizona Plus, or listen on 92.3 KTAR FM.