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GDT: Coyotes take on the defending champs

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The Arizona Coyotes are looking for their first win of their road trip as they face off against the Washington Capitals.

NHL: Washington Capitals at Arizona Coyotes Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

Game Preview

It’s still early but we seem to be getting a more complete picture of the Arizona Coyotes this season. The five game win streak was nice, but the team seems to be coming back to Earth as they are currently looking to put an end to a three game losing streak. It seems like the Coyotes will be a fairly streaky team, in both wins and goals, but hopefully they will finish with more good streaks. The schedule isn’t doing the team any favors though with back to back games against some of the top teams in the league on the road.

Despite the score, the Arizona Coyotes didn’t really play poorly against the Pittsburgh Penguins. They had some solid moments and if not for Casey DeSmith standing on his head it could have very easily been a different game. Darcy Kuemper was overall solid, he made some great saves including a point blank save on Sidney Crosby. The crowning jewel that is the Coyotes’ penalty kill this season was perfect, which is especially good when you consider the skill of their opponents. The one down side, like earlier in the season, was that Arizona was unable to solve an opposing goaltender, and problem that is magnified by Pittsburgh choosing to go with their backup.

The Washington Capitals are probably still dealing with the Cup hangover, and based on the way they partied this off-season...possibly a few literal hangovers. They are 2-2-1 so far in November and are currently outside a playoff spot in a fairly weak Metropolitan Division. Washington has been scoring a lot though (52 goals, 12th in the league), but they have also been giving up a lot of goals (51 goals, 18th in the league). Their goaltenders Braden Holtby and Pheonix Copley haven’t exactly been great, they have a 3.14 and 3.26 goals against average respectively.

Despite a fairly slow start, Washington still has a lot of the skilled players you would expect from a Stanley Cup winning team. While Clayton Keller currently leads the Coyotes with 11 points, he would be sixth on the Capitals, behind Evgeny Kuznetsov, Alex Ovechkin, John Carlson, Nicklas Backstrom, and T.J. Oshie. Ovechkin seems on a mission to win another Rocket Richard Trophy with 12 goals already in only 15 games. While Kuznetsov may not be a household name, he is on pace to top last season’s 27-56-83 career high. Arizona has gotten solid defense this season and that is going to need to continue against another team that can generate a lot of offense.

Players to Watch

Arizona: Alex Galchenyuk - Galchenyuk had a pretty weak game against the Penguins but he is a highly skilled player and hopefully will have a good bounce back game against the defending champions.

Washington: Nicklas Backstrom - Backstrom has topped the 20 goal plateau the past three seasons and he has points in the past 4 games. He isn’t going to be a scoring machine like Ovechkin but he generates a lot of offense and has topped 70 points in the past 5 seasons.

Injuries

Arizona: Alex Goligoski (questionable, lower body), Jakob Chychrun (knee), Antti Raana (questionable, lower body), Christian Dvorak (pectoral)

Washington: John Carlson (questionable, lower body), Tom Wilson (suspension), Brooks Orpik (lower body)

Poll

Poll

The Coyotes have not allowed a power play goal in their past two games. Will that trend continue?

This poll is closed

  • 45%
    Yes
    (5 votes)
  • 54%
    No
    (6 votes)
11 votes total Vote Now