This past Wednesday the Coyotes had a golden opportunity to extend the Edmonton Oilers’ losing streak to seven games. They opened the scoring 12:08 seconds into the game with a goal from Brad Richardson who redirected a shot from Richard Panik.
The Coyotes would largely dominate the first period, outshooting the Oilers 16-7 and generally controlling the pace of the game.
While Arizona controlled the first, Connor McDavid decided to control the rest of the game. McDavid would assist in Leon Draisaitl’s game tying goal just under three minutes into the second and would score the game winner under 11 minutes later. McDavid would also score his 23rd goal of the season with less then a minute left sealing the Coyotes’ fate.
Injuries definitely played a part in Wednesday night’s loss, as they have throughout the season. While the team would regain Richardson, who made his presence known with Arizona’s lone goal, but they would lose Nick Schmaltz and Alex Goligoski. Being without a top six forward and a top four defenseman is a big hurdle, but the Coyotes lack of consistent offense was an issue long before either player sat out.
New Jersey is another team that has been inconsistent this season. They have won three of their past five games, shutting out the Vancouver Canucks and Carolina Hurricanes but they were shut out by the Columbus Blue Jackets. They are currently 12 points out of the playoff race, and likely won’t be able to gain much ground in the highly competitive Eastern Conference
While Jersey is without key players like Taylor Hall and Cory Schneider, you can’t say that the Devils are without good players. Kyle Palmieri may not be as big a household name, but he already has scored 20 goals this season. They also have Nico Hischier who was drafted first overall during the 2017 NHL Entry Level Draft, he has 10 goals and 17 assists in 35 games this season. With Cory Schneider missing time due to injury Keith Kinkaid has stepped in and been solid. He currently has a .901 save percentage and a 3.02 goals against average, which is down from last season but still solid numbers.
Players to Watch
Arizona: Clayton Keller - The Coyotes really need to get their All Star scoring more goals. Despite having six assists in his last six games, Keller hasn’t found the back of the net himself since the December 1st game against the St Louis Blues.
New Jersey: Travis Zajac - The long time Devil may not be the biggest offensive threat but he is on pace to score more goals then he has in the past decade. He had two assists in the Devils 4-5 loss to the Dallas Stars.
Arizona: Alex Goligoski (probable, illness), Brad Richardson (questionable, illness), Nick Schmaltz (lower body), Michael Grabner (eye), Antti Raanta (lower body), Jason Demers (knee), Christian Dvorak (pectoral)
New Jersey: Andy Green (undisclosed), Taylor Hall (lower body), Marcus Johansson (upper body), Cory Schneider (abdominal), Joey Anders (ankle)
Who scores more tonight?
This poll is closed
The Coyotes top six
The Coyotes bottom six
The Coyotes defense