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Arizona Coyotes return home to host Detroit Red Wings

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In the first match-up of a brief two-game home stand, the Coyotes host an uncharacteristically unimpressive Red Wings team.

NHL: Detroit Red Wings at Arizona Coyotes Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

This is the second of two season tilts between the Arizona Coyotes and the Detroit Red Wings, the first of which came in mid-December at Joe Louis Arena in Detroit. The Coyotes emerged with a convincing 4-1 victory which featured a two goals off the stick of Jamie McGinn and 37 Mike Smith saves.

While both of these teams dwell near the bottom of the standings, the Coyotes have a chance to extend their current, albeit humble, win streak from three to four games.

View From Detroit

For more info on the Detroit Red Wings, check out Winging It In Motown.

To say that the 2016-17 campaign has been a letdown for Detroit fans would be a massive understatement. Being on the brink of elimination from playoff contention is a disappointment for any team, but when your team has been in the postseason for 25 straight seasons, its got to sting a little bit more.

The Red Wings face a quick turnaround after playing just last night in Colorado, where they suffered a 3-1 defeat at the hands of the Avalanche.

View From Arizona

Their most recent opponents may not have been the most formidable, but these ‘Yotes are going streaking, baby. After winning only one of their first four games in the month of March, Arizona have won their last three, the latest victory coming by way of an 11-round shootout against the Kings at the Staples Center on Tuesday.

The Coyotes’ youth has been prominently on display as of late, with Max Domi scoring both regulation goals in Los Angeles and Brendan Perlini and Anthony DeAngelo burying the deciding goals in the marathon shootout to follow. Perlini also had the only goal in Monday’s 1-0 affair against the Avalanche.

Three Questions

1. Can the Coyotes make it four in a row? - With their third consecutive win in Los Angeles on Tuesday, the Coyotes tied their longest win streak of the season, which came near the end of January. A win tonight would make this current streak their longest of the campaign.

2. Will Detroit rebound after a weak showing in Colorado? - After suffering a 3-1 defeat at the hands of the clear-cut worst team in the NHL, will the Red Wings turn that frustration into motivation and come out swinging tonight in Glendale? Or will they roll over?

3. Does either team really want these two points? - The players play to win every night, without question. But with the playoffs essentially out of reach for both squads, management has undoubtedly somewhat shifted focus towards the 2017 NHL Entry Draft. Tonight’s outcome is unfortunately only meaningful in the context of determining the draft order in June.

Players to Watch

Detroit - Henrik Zetterberg - If anyone is going to get the Wings back on track, its this veteran leader. Look for him to set the tone on the ice for the visiting squad tonight at Gila River Arena.

Arizona - Brendan Perlini- This rookie, with his explosive speed and quick wrister, has 13 goals so far this season. That puts him just outside the top ten rookie goal scorers despite spending the first weeks of the season in Tucson.

Injury Report

Arizona - The Coyotes continue to be without defenseman Kevin Connauton, winger Alex Burmistrov, and centerman Brad Richardson.

Detroit - Defenseman Ryan Sproul suffered a knee injury on March 5 and has been ruled out for the season. He joins defenseman Jonathan Ericsson, former Arizona winger Joe Vitale, and winger Johan Franzen on Detroit’s list of injured players.

Puck Drop

Tonight’s game starts at 7:00pm Arizona time. You can watch it on Fox Sports Arizona Plus, Fox Sports Go, or listen to it on ESPN Radio Phoenix 620 AM.