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Arizona Coyotes vs Calgary Flames Preview: Stopping the Skid

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The Coyotes hope to end their five game losing streak with a game against the Calgary Flames, who are in the midst of a successful post All Star stretch.

Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports

After a night off, the Arizona Coyotes are back in action against another Pacific Division rival as the Calgary Flames come to Gila River Arena for the second to last time this season.

Matchup at a Glance

Calgary Flames

Arizona Coyotes

Points

53 (6th Pacific)

54 (5th Pacific)

Goals For

2.70 (11th)

2.62 (15th)

Goals Against

2.94 (26th)

3.08 (28th)

Power Play

15.3% (29th)

18.2% (T-18th)

Penalty Kill

75.9% (29th)

77.2% (28th)

5v5 Corsi For*

47.3% (T-24th)

46.6% (28th)

PDO*

99.5 (T-20th)

100.7 (T-6th)

*stats courtesy of war-on-ice.com

View from Calgary

Check out Matchsticks and Gasoline for the latest on the Calgary Flames.

The notoriously bad Calgary Flames have been playing a lot better since the All Star Break, scoring four or more goals in four of their last five games. But all is still not well in Alberta; the teams they faced were the Hurricanes, the Canucks, and the Maple Leafs, teams that are currently out of the playoff race. They also lost against the Columbus Blue Jackets, a team with one of the worst records in the league.

The Flames recent win streak isn't a team that was under-performing finally hitting their stride late in the season. It's likely that Calgary over-performed last season when they made it to the playoffs and their current season is just a fall back to Earth, much like the Yotes have been experiencing recently this season.

View from Arizona

The Yotes played a much better game against the Vancouver Canucks, but they still did not get the result they were seeking. Even though they did not get any points it was a solid outing and could give them momentum going into tonight's game, especially against a team that played last night. There were many positives against Vancouver: they allowed fewer goals, they outshot their opponents, and they were perfect on the penalty kill.

Lately the Coyotes have been on a downward spiral, and they started to look more like the team that many people predicted they would be before the season. If the Coyotes are starting to regress though that doesn't mean there is no hope. The Coyotes are still going to win games this season, and they have been very effect against Pacific Division opponents, the teams that they need to beat the most.

Keys to the Game

  • A quick start. The Flames played last night against the Sharks in a late game. While traveling from California isn't the hardest for a professional athlete the Coyotes still can control the game by getting an early lead and keeping the pressure up.

  • Stay out of the box. The Coyotes penalty kill has been pretty bad this season, but the best way to avoid letting the other team score on the power play is to stay out of the box.

  • Special teams. Other then allowing so many short handed goals the Coyotes have a decent power play but have been terrible on the penalty kill. Either way there is a lot to improve on both special teams units.

Players to Watch

Max Domi has assists in three of the past four games and had the primary assist on the Coyotes lone goal against the Vancouver Canucks earlier this week.

Johnny Gaudreau had two assists last night against the Sharks and has a goal and four assists in the past five games in his very successful sophomore season.

Injury Report

Mike Smith has started practicing again with the team but is still not likely going to be seeing NHL action anytime soon and Joe Vitale will be out for the rest of the season. Boyd Gordon is likely to miss tonight's game as he is week-to-week with a lower body injury.

On the Calgary side of things Dennis Wideman is out after being suspended for hitting a linesman during a game. He is appealing the decision however he will likely be missing a significant amount of time this season.

Puck Drop

Tonight's game will be at Gila River Arena at 7pm and will be airing on Fox Sports Arizona and on the radio at ESPN 620 AM.