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GDT: Coyotes to look to dethrone Kings and extend winstreak

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The Coyotes are back on the road for a game as they face off against long time rivals the Los Angeles Kings.

NHL: Preseason-Arizona Coyotes at Los Angeles Kings Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Game Preview

The Arizona Coyotes apparently decided that the Flames looked like they were having fun in their 6-1 win against the Coyotes so they decided to do it too. The Yotes were coming in hot after wins against the Minnesota Wild and Nashville Predators, and they managed to extend that win streak. While beating the St Louis Blues in the 2018-19 season isn’t a huge accomplishment, its nice to see the Coyotes not play down to their opponents.

Arizona’s impressive 6-1 win against the Blues featured a bit of everything. Eleven players had points against the Blues, and four players had more than one. After some slow stretches Clayton Keller finished the night with a goal and 2 assists. Nick Schmaltz finished with 2 assists and he seems to be really enjoying playing with Clayton Keller.

It wasn’t just the top lines either, Christian Fischer and Richard Panik both netted their 5th goal of the night, and defensemen Alex Goligoski and Jakob Chychrun both scored. Scoring 6 goals probably isn’t going to be an everyday thing, but hopefully the Coyotes are finally finding some consistency, especially on their top line.

Like the Blues, the Los Angeles Kings are a team that historically played good defensive hockey. Also like the Blues they have been terrible this season. They are at the bottom of the Pacific Division and are tied for the fewest points in the league with 21. While the other teams in the division stocked up on signings, the Kings brought Ilya Kovalchuk from the KHL, who has been fine with 5 goals and 9 assists, but it probably not up to the $6.25 million a year. Kovalchuk won’t be a factor tonight though as he will be out for four weeks after an ankle surgery.

Its rare that we can say this but the Coyotes are playing a team that generates fewer offense then them. Despite playing 2 more games the Kings have scored 8 fewer goals. The Kings have two rings barely scoring, the difference this season is that they are nineteenth in goals allowed. Los Angeles also have the second worst power play in the league, converting 14.4% of the time, and the penalty kill is the fourth worst in the league.

Like the game against the Blues the Coyotes will be playing an injured team that they are better then in almost every measurable way. It remains to be seen if they can take advantage of that.

Players to Watch

Arizona: Clayton Keller. With a 3 point night, Keller seems to be finally finding his footing again. If he can keep this up he can avoid the sophomore slump and be the center of the Coyotes offense that the team has been needing.

Los Angeles: Jonathan Quick: Quick missed a significant piece of November and wasn’t that great in October. In his last game he posted a 34 save shut out against the Carolina Hurricanes.

Injuries

Arizona: Antti Raanta (questionable, lower body), Michael Grabner (eye), Darcy Kuemper (lower body), Jason Demers (knee), Christian Dvorak (pectoral)

Los Angeles: Adrian Kempe (questionable, upper body), Nikita Scherbak (lower body), Ilya Kovalchuk (ankle), Carl Hagelin (knee), Trevor Lewis (foot), Jack Campbell (knee), Jonny Brodzinski (shoulder)

Poll

Poll

Will the Coyotes penalty kill survive without Michael Grabner?

This poll is closed

  • 82%
    Yes
    (19 votes)
  • 17%
    No
    (4 votes)
23 votes total Vote Now