The Arizona Coyotes are preparing to meet an old familiar face when Mike Smith returns to Gila River Arena with the Calgary Flames. When the Flames last visited the Coyotes, Smith was injured so Jon Gillies was in net instead. In the previous two meetings Calgary has beat Arizona, each by a 3 goal margin.
The Coyotes have lost their last two games against the Minnesota Wild and Nashville Predators. This is the first time the team has lost two in a row since the first week of February, 16 games ago. Including the last two games the team’s record went from 9-3-1 to 9-5-1. On the positive side, the Coyotes were able to hold their own against two playoff teams. In fact with Nashville’s win over the Colorado Avalanche on Saturday they became the first team to clinch a playoff spot this season.
The Flames are dealing with their own losses at the moment having dropped 3 of their last 4 games, including a shutout loss to the Vegas Golden Knights yesterday. All while being in an extremely tight playoff race, with only 80 points. Currently, the Flames are 4 points out of a the second wildcard spot and 6 points from the first wildcard spot as well as third place in the division. Before they can take any of the wildcard playoff spots they have leap frog the St. Louis Blues and Dallas Stars with 83 and 84 points, respectively. If the Flames do manage to make the playoffs the 2019 third round pick that was part of the Smith trade becomes a second round pick.