The Arizona Coyotes started off their three game road trip with an overtime loss to the Edmonton Oilers this past Monday. Despite an early lead from a Jason Demers goal less than five minutes into the game the Edmonton Oilers were able to overtake the Desert Dogs with a short handed goal from Jujhar Khaira, Milan Lucic scoring his first goal since December 23rd, and Jesse Puljujarvi scoring a power play goal. Christian Dvorak and Niklas Hjalmarsson scored midway through the third to tie the game, but less than a minute into overtime Oscar Klefbom won the game for the Oilers.
Unfortunately heading into tonight’s game the Coyotes will be without goaltender Antti Raanta who may miss his second game. Darcy Kuemper got the start against Edmonton after Raanta was sidelined for some tightness. Kuemper was okay in the 4-3 overtime loss, although he probably wants that second goal back. Despite a weak start Kuemper was able to keep Edmonton from scoring through two periods and give the Yotes time to tie the game up in the third.
Adin Hill has been called up from the Tucson Roadrunners and will likely serve as backup goaltender for tonight’s game. Hill previously saw three games with the Coyotes in October, two of which saw him give up five and four goals each. Luckily if Hill does see ice tonight he will find that the Coyotes team playing in front him is much better compared to the way the historically bad Coyotes played during the opening of this season.
While the Coyotes played a bad Edmonton Oilers team two days ago, they will be facing off against a probably worse Vancouver Canucks team tonight. Vancouver has 8 points more then the Coyotes, so they likely won’t finish worst in the Western Conference, but that doesn’t make them a particular good team. While they did play two games last month where they managed to score six goals a game against the Dallas Stars and Boston Bruins, their only other wins that month were against a bad Chicago Blackhawks team and a bad Coyotes team. Their past three games have seen them take their opponent to overtime, but they have won only one of those three.
Unfortunately for the Vancouver, they will be without their star rookie Brock Boeser for the rest of the season due a lower back injury. It was announced yesterday that Boeser will be out the next 4-6 weeks with a lower body injury he sustained after awkwardly going into the boards in a game against the New York Islanders. Boeser has probably been the biggest bright spot of a dark Vancouver season, the 21 year old currently leads the team in goals and points with 29 and 55 respectively.