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GDT: Coyotes continue Western Conference roadtrip

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A week and a half after the Coyotes and Oilers meet they face each other again, this time in Edmonton.

NHL: Edmonton Oilers at Arizona Coyotes Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

Game Preview

After a stellar victor against the New York Rangers on Sunday, the Arizona Coyotes began a three game road trip starting off against the Vancouver Canucks. Arizona’s win against the Rangers was a high speed and featured Arizona in control for most of the game. Against the Canucks the Coyotes much slower, and they didn’t have the same control. That’s not surprising considering the Rangers haven’t been great this season, while the Canucks have been much better. Arizona was able to repeatedly gain the lead three times, but they were unable to take the next step and lock it down for the win. The game would go to overtime, which featured Vancouver with most of the momentum, before Richard Panik would score the game winner from the faceoff circle.

While the Coyotes’ top line largely failed, secondary scoring stepped up. Richard Panik, Nick Cousins and Conor Garland all scored goals during regulation. Garland has been making the most of his call up and is currently riding a three game goal streak. Despite being an injury call up Conor Garland has been showing he deserves a place on the Coyotes lineup.

Thursday’s win against the Canucks may have been a Pyrrhic victory unfortunately. Brad Richardson would take a puck to the hand and is expected to miss some time. Along with Michael Grabner, who is on the injured reserve list, Richardson was a big part of the Coyotes’ league best penalty kill. Arizona’s defense and penalty kill have been the brightest spots of a largely inconsistent season, and it remains to be seen if they will be able to have the same success missing so many key pieces.

In the week and a half since the Oilers and Coyotes meet, things have been up and down for the Oilers. They were shut out 4-0 by the worst team in the Western Conference, the Los Angeles Kings, but they also managed to shut out the playoff bound Anaheim Ducks 4-0. They were routed by the San Jose Sharks 7-2, but they managed a 4-3 shoot out win against the Florida Panthers. Edmonton is two points out of a playoff spot, and they’ll need to find some consistency if they are going to make it to the playoffs.

Players to Watch

Arizona: Conor Garland - Garland has found a lot of success by going to the net. Alex Galchenyuk may have gotten the puck to the net, but Garland was there ready to tap it home and score the goal.

Edmonton: Connor McDavid - It always feels like its cheating to have McDavid be the player to watch, but in the Oilers’ last game he had points on every goal and scored in the shootout. The game wouldn’t have even gone to the shootout if McDavid hadn’t scored with eight seconds left in the game.

Injuries

Arizona: Josh Archibald (questionable, personal), Kevin Connauton (questionable, lower body), Brad Richardson (upper body), Nick Schmaltz (lower body), Michael Grabner (eye), Antti Raanta (lower body), Jason Demers (knee), Christian Dvorak (pectoral)

Edmonton: Alexander Petrovic (concussion), Kailer Yamamoto (questionable, upper body), Oscar Klefbom (hand), Andrej Sekera (achilles)

Poll

Poll

Can the Coyotes’ injury ridden penalty kill continue its streak of not allowing goals?

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