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GDT: Coyotes and Canucks to conclude contest

Alex Goligoski will be returning to the Coyotes’ lineup tonight.

NHL: Vancouver Canucks at Arizona Coyotes Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Game Preview

The Arizona Coyotes are back home to start a 5-game homestand and face the Vancouver Canucks for the last time this season. The Coyotes and Canucks have split the season series against one another this far so whichever team wins tonight’s match will win the head-to-head for the season.

Yesterday afternoon the Coyotes dug themselves a hole very early in the first period against the Colorado Avalanche that they couldn’t dig themselves out of. Colorado started strong with goals from Blake Comeau, Tyson Barrie, and Carl Soderberg. The Coyotes initially responded well with a goal from Christian Dvorak after Comeau scored and a Richard Panik goal in the second, but goals from Tyson Jost and Mikko Rantanen in the third sealed the game.

While there are games where they Coyotes don’t play well enough for a period, yesterday’s game didn’t seem them play exceptionally well during any period. They barely out shot the Avalanche during the first two periods, and by the third period they were outshot and they let Colorado increase their lead. Toward the end of the third Oliver Ekman-Larsson retaliated against a hook by Sven Andrighetto with a slash that led to a line brawl, multiple penalties and a post-game $5,000 fine. While the ‘Yotes have been playing better as of late, games like this serve to remind the team and fans how far they still have to go.

In good news Alex Goligoski, who didn’t make the roadtrip due to the impending birth of his and Amanda’s daughter, will be returning to the lineup. the Coyotes starting goalie Antti Raanta practiced on Friday and is getting closer to returning. Also Dylan Strome was held out of the Tucson Roadrunners’ game last night and has been recalled by the Coyotes to replace an injured Laurent Dauphin. Raanta and Strome are not expected to play tonight.

The Canucks are a very familiar opponent for the Coyotes as of late. Arizona and Vancouver have faced off against each other two times in the past two weeks and with the final game coming in the first week of April. Vancouver won the first game 3-1 on Darcy Kuemper’s debut, while Kuemper was able to get the win on the second game 2-1.

Very similar to the Coyotes, Vancouver has played one game since these two teams last met. Like Arizona the Canucks lost 5-2 to a team in the Central Division, only their loss came at the hands of the Minnesota Wild. While the Coyotes are on their second game of a back-to-back, the Canucks are on their first and will be facing off against the Los Angeles Kings tomorrow. Interestingly enough, tomorrow’s game between the Canucks and the Kings will be the first game of a back-to-back for the Kings, and their opponents on Tuesday will be the Arizona Coyotes.