For the first time since October 5th, the Arizona Coyotes lost a game in regulation. After four wins where they outscored their opponents 17-8 and a six-game point streak, the Coyotes lost to the New York Islanders last night 4-2.
The Islanders took the lead early, with Derick Brassard scoring less than a minute and a half into the first period. The Coyotes would briefly tie the game with Michael Grabner’s second of the season midway through the first, but they would not be able to take the lead once during the game. Conor Garland would get his fifth of the season late in the third, but it would prove to be too little too late.
Last night would feature the end of a few other streaks for the Coyotes. Darcy Kuemper had previously been setting a franchise record with a streak of allowing two goals or fewer for his previous 13 appearances. Nick Schmaltz also was riding a six-game point streak before last night when he was held pointless against the Islanders.
As expected in the second night of a back-to-back, the Coyotes will likely make some changes to get fresh players.
Final: Islanders 4, Coyotes 2.— Craig Morgan (@craigsmorgan) October 25, 2019
The Coyotes are 1-9 on the road against the Islanders since the 2004-05 lockout.
Next up: The NJ Devils at Prudential Center on Friday. Antti Raanta will be in goal and we may see a couple lineup changes. Barrett Hayton could play.
Antti Raanta will likely be playing in his third game of the season, in his two games this season he has a 2.44 save percentage and a .926 save percentage. We will also likely get a chance to see Barrett Hayton who hasn’t played since the Coyotes lost in overtime to the Colorado Avalanche. After sitting for so long, it’s hard to imagine that both players won’t be doing everything possible to make an impact tonight.
After playing one of the top teams in the Metropolitan Division, tonight’s opponents are closer to the bottom of the league. The New Jersey Devils have played eight games so far and are 2-4-2 with their two wins coming in their two most recent games. Like the Islanders they are also a well-rested team, having not played since Saturday. But the time off may benefit the Coyotes, instead of being rested the Devils may just be rusty.
New Jersey was an interesting team to start the season. They made some big moves acquiring P. K. Subban from the Nashville Predators and signing free agent Wayne Simmonds. The Devils also drafted Jack Hughes first overall, a young high skilled center who unfortunately hasn’t had the best start to his NHL career.
Unfortunately, all the additions in the world haven’t done much to address their goaltender. Mackenzie Blackwood and Cory Schneider have not been good to start the season. The two have .886 and .876 save percentages respectively and goals-against averages north of 3.00. With those numbers it’s not surprising that the Devils are currently third from the bottom of the league.
Players to Watch
Arizona: Conor Garland - With a goal last night Garland is now leading the team in goals scored with 5. Garland has been part of the Coyotes’ stellar second line, and if the pace continues he will be setting a career-high in goals scored.
New Jersey: Taylor Hall - Hall is in the final year of an extremely team-friendly 7 year, $42 million deal and it seemed like the Devils were pushing hard in the offseason to convince him to re-sign. It remains to be seen if that will happen but until then he leas the team with 6 points in 8 games.
Arizona: Jordan Oesterle (head), Niklas Hjalmarsson (leg)
New Jersey: Mackenzie Blackwood (probable, illness), Nico Hischier (probable, upper body), Will Butcher (questionable, upper body)
Tonight’s game will be at 4:00 pm Arizona Time and will air on Fox Sports Arizona Plus and Fox Sports 910 AM.