Arizona will attempt to shake off surrendering five consecutive goals in the second and third periods when they face the Chicago Blackhawks tonight in Chicago.
Matchup at a Glance
|Arizona Coyotes||Chicago Blackhawks|
|Points||77 (4th Pacific)||99 (3rd Central)|
|Goals For||2.58 (T-19th)||2.82 (7th)|
|Goals Against||2.96 (T-26th)||2.51 (10th)|
|Power Play||18.4% (19th)||22.2% (3rd)|
|Penalty Kill||77.7% (28th)||79.8% (24th)|
|5v5 Corsi For||46.9% (28th)||50.9% (14th)|
|PDO||100.5 (T-10th)||99.6 (T-18th)|
View from Arizona
St. Louis has not been friendly to the Coyotes for a long time; last night's 5-2 loss was the latest in a frustrating series of games against the Blues.
Anthony Duclair joined Shane Doan in the 20+ goal club yesterday, which is a welcome change from 2014-15, when not a single Coyotes forward reached the 20 goal mark. Peter Mueller's rookie record for the Coyotes is 22, which is more than attainable even with three games remaining on the schedule.
View from Chicago
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Chicago has settled into the third spot in the Central Division, which means they will begin their first round playoff series either in St. Louis or Dallas. Chicago has scored 11 goals over their past two games against Winnipeg and Boston, but haven't looked like the juggernaut that won three Cups in six years.
Part of the problem has been their missing personnel; Duncan Keith is sitting out the rest of the regular season plus the first game of the playoffs thanks to a vicious slash to the face of Minnesota's Charlie Coyle that was neither accidental or related to the play. Marian Hossa has also been fighting the injury bug in the second half of this season. Not having those two key contributors is definitely not helping Chicago down the stretch.
Keys to the Game
1. Better Special Teams - Arizona gave up two power play goals and a shorthanded goal against St. Louis. Without those, they leave St. Louis with at least a point. They have to be better.
2. Solve the Speed - Chicago has plenty of speed up front. Arizona needs to protect the neutral zone and prevent Chicago's forwards from getting past Arizona's defensemen.
3. Get to Scott Darling - Corey Crawford is still not back yet. Scott Darling has performed respectably in his absence, but not to Crawford's level. Arizona needs to take advantage.
Players to Watch
Almost without notice, Antoine Vermette has surpassed his production totals from last season with Arizona. He needs just one more point to equal his total output between Arizona and Chicago.
It is increasingly difficult to argue with Artemi Panarin's case for the Calder Trophy. He has three goals and five assists in his last two games, and has 72 points on the season. He's having one of the better debut seasons in modern NHL history.
Arizona will not have Joe Vitale, Anders Lindback, and Michael Stone for the rest of the season. Martin Hanzal is not expected to play tonight, while Nicklas Grossmann remains away from the team to be present for the birth of his child.
Chicago will not have Corey Crawford or Duncan Keith for the duration of the season. Andrew Shaw is out for tonight's game, while Marian Hossa is questionable.
Tonight's game will begin at 5:30 PM Arizona time. You will be able to watch the game on Fox Sports Coyotes, which you can find information for here. You can also listen to ESPN 620 AM.