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GDT: Coyotes look to go into break with a win

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In the last game before the All Star break the Arizona Coyotes are looking to finish strong against the Montreal Canadiens

NHL: Montreal Canadiens at Arizona Coyotes Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

Game Preview

After some tough wins the Arizona Coyotes faced a true challenge last night, a not very good team they may end up playing down to. Thankfully that wasn’t the case, and the Coyotes managed a 3-2 win against the Ottawa Senators. With that win they moved up to only two points out of a playoff spot. Unfortunately two Coyotes players, Oliver Ekman-Larsson and Niklas Hjalmarsson, were injured in the game. Luckily the team only has one more game before the All Star Break so they’ll have plenty of time to rest.

Last night Arizona got goals from key players Vinnie Hinostroza and Derek Stepan. Hinostroza was brought in from Chicago to add a touch of offense, and while seven goals isn’t huge he has chipped in in key areas. Stepan hasn’t generated the same offense as he has in the past, but his ten goals on the season is on pace for what he traditionally generates. Even Richard Panik got in on the action and he had primary assists on two goals including the game winning goal. Darcy Kuemper was solid again, stopping 25 of 27 shots and keeping Ottawa from scoring on their two power play efforts.

Montreal has looked good this season, and with 59 points they currently have a Wild Card spot in the Eastern Conference. Leading that success has been former Coyote Max Domi who has excelled in Montreal. Through 50 games he has 16 goals and 28 assists and is on pace to have the best season of his short career. When Montreal traded Alex Galchenyuk for Domi many people, including myself, thought that Arizona won the trade by a mile, but Max Domi is making us eat crow by proving he does have the tools to be successful.

While the Coyotes did decently well in controlling the Ottawa’s solid offense, Montreal isn’t far behind them. They have scored 150 goals this this season, six behind Ottawa. But unlock Ottawa they don’t have the same problems with defense and they have only allowed 148. Despite scoring a decent amount Montreal has the worst power play in the league, converting only 12.6% of the time. The penalty kill is better by comparison, but ranked 17th in the league killing 79.8% of penalties. Recently the Coyotes have played higher level teams but rested Montreal team shouldn’t be taken lightly, with Arizona having played last night and being hampered by serious injuries.

Players to Watch

Arizona: Vinnie Hinostroza - Hinostroza had two goals and an assist last night and a goal against the Toronto Maple Leafs matching his total goals last season.

Montreal: Tomas Tatar - Tatar is second on the Canadiens in points and has four points in the last three games.

Injuries

Arizona: Oliver Ekman-Larsson (lower body), Niklas Hjalmarsson (questionable, face), Brad Richardson (upper body), Nick Schmaltz (lower body), Michae Grabner (eyer), Antti Raanta (lower body), Jason Demers (knee), Christian Dvorak (pectoral)

Montreal: Paul Byron (suspension), Andrew Shaw (neck)

Poll

Poll

When Arizona and Montreal met in December the Coyotes kept Domi off the scoreboard. Can they do it again tonight?

This poll is closed

  • 50%
    Yes
    (12 votes)
  • 50%
    No
    (12 votes)
24 votes total Vote Now