Arizona went into the Christmas with back to back wins against the Colorado Avalanche and the San Jose Sharks, two playoff bound teams. In their first game back they faced off against the Los Angeles Kings, a team that has struggled most of the season but had won their last three.
Things looked good for the Coyotes when Jakob Chychrun netted a rare power play goal lat in the first period. The Kings would manage to tie it up just over three minutes later with a goal from Jake Muzzin, and an early third period goal from Dustin Brown would prove to be the difference maker. During the third period the Coyotes were kept to just eight shots on goal and had the loan penalty of the period.
The Anaheim Ducks have been taking advantage of a relatively weak Western Conference this season. With 43 points they have a Wild Card spot and of all the the playoff bound teams they have the largest negative goal differential. Anaheim is currently riding a four game losing streak, where like the Coyotes they have struggled to score. In the past four games they have been outscored 13-4. That’s not say to say they can’t turn it on, in five games this month they have scored four or more goals.
Scoring has been an issue for the Ducks for most of the season. Despite playing two more games they have only scored 94 goals compared to Arizona’s 92. They have allowed more goals then the Coyotes too, allowing 111 compared to Arizona’s 103. It should come as no surprise that the Ducks’ power play is also near the bottom, 26th at 14.7%. The penalty kill is middle of the road, 16th in the league at 79.8%.
Despite having similar issues as the Coyotes the Ducks have managed to find ways to win, or at least push the game to overtime. In two more games the Ducks have won three more then Arizona and have three more overtime losses. Nine points makes a big difference, but it remains to be seen in the Ducks can keep this up.
Players to Watch
Arizona: Jakob Chychrun - Despite missing the start of the season, Chychrun has been solid since coming back. He scored the Coyotes loan goal against the Kings and had an assist against the San Jose Sharks.
Anaheim: Jakob Silfverberg - Silfverberg is second in goals scored for the Ducks, and had a goal for the Ducks in their last game against the San Jose Sharks.
Arizona: Brad Richardson (questionable, flu), Vinnie Hinostroza (questionable, lower body), Michael Grabner (eye), Antti Raanta (lower body), Jason Demers (knee), Christian Dvorak (pectoral)
Anaheim: John Gibson (questionable, upper body), Ryan Miller (knee), Rickard Rakell (ankle), Cam Fowler (face), Patrick Eaves (ribs), Corey Perry (knee), Korbinian Holzer (wrist)
Which Jakob has a bigger night?
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