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Arizona Coyotes face off against the New York Rangers for their last home game of 2016

The Arizona Coyotes look to end their losing streak while facing off against the New York Rangers.

Arizona Coyotes v New York Rangers Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

The Coyotes had a day off to rest and are back in action again against the New York Rangers.

View From New York

For more about the New York Rangers check out Blue Shirt Banter

The Rangers are currently only in third in the Metropolitan Division, but they are also third in the NHL overall, which just goes to show how unbelievably good the Metro is this season.

Its kinda surprising how well the Rangers are playing this season. Two of their top five scorers last season are no longer with the team, Derick Brassard is in Ottawa and former Coyote Keith Yandle took his talents to Florida. Luckily for New York they have a few players that have stepped up. Kevin Hayes is on pace for his best season of his short career, and defenseman Ryan McDonagh has stepped up and should easily end up surpassing his numbers last season.

The past few seasons people have started to wonder if New York’s window has started closing. Whether or not this is true remains to be seen, but for now the Rangers are a team that is playing very good hockey in a very tough division.

View From Arizona

This season is likely not going to be one that Coyotes fans are going to want to remember in the coming years. The Coyotes are currently in their second five game losing streak of the season, although this time its been mostly at home as opposed to being on the road.

At this point the Coyotes need someone to step up, although its tough to say who that could be. Max Domi is injured from his fight with Garnet Hathaway, Oliver Ekman-Larsson has been generating far less offense then we’ve come to expect from him, and the teams leading goal scorer last season Shane Doan has only four goals this season. If the team finds a way to suddenly click that could start to change their record, but as of right now the Desert Dogs best chance of winning the game is for someone to play the hero and throw the rest of the team on their back.

Three Questions

  1. Who is going to score? The Coyotes desperately needed offense in there past few games. Against the Stars they outshot their opponents, a rare event this season, but the team needs to turn those shots into goals.
  2. Will the Coyotes dress seven defenseman again? The Coyotes lineup was interesting against the Stars. Michael Stone only played for 6:35, and isn’t currently being reported as injured. Could the Yotes be shopping one of their defenseman and thus hoping to give everyone some ice time to show off?
  3. Can the Coyotes take advantage of no Henrik Lundqvist? If things go the Coyotes way Lundqvist could potentially miss tonight’s game with flu-like symptoms. Granted the former All Star, Vezina Trophy winning goaltender may be starting to show his age this season, the Coyotes may end up with more luck against backup Antti Raanta.

Players to Watch

New York - Derek Stepan. Stepan broke 20 goals in a season last year for the second time in his career, and he is looking like he will reach that plateau again this season. He comes into the game with 9 goals and 19 assists and 7 points in his last four games.

Arizona - Anthony Duclair. Duclair finally broke his scoring drought the Coyotes loan goal against the Dallas Stars on Tuesday, but he has a long way to go if he wants to match his 20 goals last season. Luckily he has a chance to keep it going against his former team.

Injury Report

Lundqvist missed the last game with the flue and is questionable for tonight. Rick Nash is also questionable but for a groin injury. Mika Zibanejab and Pavel Buchnevich are both out until January with a leg and back injury respectively.

Brad Richardson and Domi are still out indefinitely with leg and hand injuries respectively. Ryan White has missed the past two games and is uncertain to play tonight.

Puck Drop

Tonight’s game will be at 7pm at Gila River Arena and airing on Fox Sports Arizona Plus and ESPN Phoenix 620 AM.