Matchup at a Glance
|Arizona Coyotes||Dallas Stars|
|Points||75 (4th Pacific)||101 (1st Central)|
|Goals For||2.61 (T-18th)||3.25 (1st)|
|Goals Against||2.93 (T-27th)||2.83 (T-20th)|
|Power Play||18.8% (T-15th)||21.8% (5th)|
|Penalty Kill||77.9% (T-27th)||81.6% (14th)|
|5v5 Corsi For||47.0% (28th)||52.4% (5th)|
|PDO||100.5 (11th)||99.7 (T-16th)|
View from Arizona
With only a couple of weeks remaining in the regular season, the Coyotes are playing out the string. They followed up a hard-fought victory against the Philadelphia Flyers with a 5-2 loss against the Calgary Flames on Monday night.
Arizona has called up Alex Grant and Eric Selleck from the AHL as part of the post-Trade Deadline roster expansion. Selleck is a 28 year old veteran from NCAA D3 SUNY-Oswego who has been in Arizona's system for two years now, while Grant came over from the Ottawa organization this year.
What do these two players with a combined four games of NHL experience have to offer? Both fit specific needs (Grant is a right-handed shot on the blue-line, while Selleck is a bruising forward with some scoring ability), and both have two-way contracts. So this is an opportunity for the Coyotes to bring up players that aren't major factors in the team's plan going forward while giving a pair of hockey journeymen an NHL paycheck or two.
View from Dallas
For more on the Stars, check out Defending Big D
The Dallas Stars are locked with the St. Louis Blues in an epic battle to not play the Chicago Blackhawks in the first round of the playoffs. Their high-flying offense has not missed a beat with Tyler Seguin's absence, racking up a 4-2 win against San Jose and a 5-2 win against Nashville. Dallas' depth on offense makes them a deadly playoff threat.
Apart from Seguin, the Stars are led by Jamie Benn and Jason Spezza. All three have reached the 30+ goal plateau, while Benn is guaranteed to average over a point per game this NHL season. The next level of offense comes from players like Patrick Sharp, Cody Eakin, and Ales Hemsky, making the Stars nearly impossible to totally stop.
However, one team that seems to have been able to stop them has been Arizona. The Coyotes beat the Stars 3-1 a week ago, and again by a final score of 6-3 earlier in 2016.
Keys to the Game
1. Contain the Speed - Arizona can turn up the jets as well as anybody, but the Stars are stacked with speedy forwards. The Coyotes need to slow down Dallas in the neutral zone.
2. Pressure the Defense - Dallas' defense was already suspect before the injury bug struck. Arizona needs to take advantage of the defense and average goaltending.
3. Penalty Differential - Arizona got a pair of power play goals against Calgary. Even if they can't convert against Dallas, getting more power plays than Dallas means getting more offensive zone time than Dallas.
Players to Watch
Anthony Duclair was responsible for both of Arizona's power play goals on Monday night. He is now one goal ahead of Max Domi, and one goal away from reaching the 20 goal plateau.
Antoine Roussel has three assists in his last five games, and is one of the most frustrating players to play against in the entire NHL. In four NHL seasons, he has recorded 100+ penalty minutes in three of them. Expect him to be a pest tonight.
Anders Lindback, Joe Vitale, and Michael Stone are all out for the season, while Jarred Tinordi remains suspended for performance enhancing drug use. Shane Doan missed Monday night's game while undergoing the concussion protocol, but is expected to play tonight.
Dallas will not get Tyler Seguin or Jason Demers back until after the postseason begins. Kris Russell is not expected to play tonight, while Brett Ritchie is considered questionable.
Tonight's game begins at 5:30 PM Arizona time. You can watch the game on Fox Sports Arizona or listen on ESPN 620 AM.